Coca Cola’s Facebook Page is a prime example of the Community Experience Strategy. Given the brand has the largest number of Fans on Facebook with 36.2 Million Fans – a good number of them international – Coke creates a lot of buzz around the brand.
Looking more closely at the activity on Coca Cola’s Facebook page you’ll see two signs that they garner their community. The first being that they focus on the love for the brand. They ask simple questions like “Do you “Like” Coke? Do you REALLY “Like” Coke?” and “Do you remember your first Coke?” Within minutes of a post they have thousands of answers from around the globe. Most importantly they continue the conversation in the comments and address questions about the product or past products. With the sheer volume of activity Coke cannot like everyone’s post and in an effort not to play favorites they do not “like” any comments.
A second sign of the Community Experience Strategy is that they are using their audiences’ content as well. The custom landing page features and highlights images postrd by their community. They also use specific calls to action to rally their community for causes – The Arctic Home Project. If you switch over their wall to see everyone’s posts, you’ll see an international love for Coke, with posts in serval languages. Even there, Coke does it’s best to address questions about the brand (a questions about a Coke Parade) and successfully avoids any potential stigmas. Coke has a specific page that addresses the “House Rules” for posting on their page.
For a large brand with international following Coke does a great job rallying and promoting good community behavior. Their challenge is volume and cross cultural communication. It certainly helps that Coke has a legacy to build on, but there are still lessons to learn from Coke implementation of the Community Strategy.
1. Ask your audience about their experiences. Don’t shy away from self-promotion, your advocates will support you!
2. Avoid bad brand associations. Coke set the default view of their wall to only show Coke posts. Given the size and reach of their audience some user posts are inappropriate for their brand.
3. Respect your audience. Even though some posts are inappropriate for their brand, Coke does not remove most of them from the wall. Nor do they remove negative comments from their posts. They let the community have their voice – unless it breaks the “House Rules”.
With a smaller audience you can manage higher levels of interaction and respond more directly to your community. It is important that you stay engaged with your community no matter what size and continue to drive the correct message. You can “teach” your community the message by acknowledging types of post you would like to see more of.
Want More Coke? See Coke use the Branding Strategy