Coca Cola recently reported results of a marketing study showing that social media “buzz” did not have a measurable impact on short term sales. Wendy Clark, VP Marketing at Coke , quickly clarified in a follow up Ad Age article that social media “in isolation” did not have an impact, but is still considered a vital part of integrated marketing activities. Coca Cola has been a leader in using social media marketing and has built one of the largest followings on Facebook.

This survey report raises antennae among marketers and researchers, who want to more deeply understand the study’s methodology and conclusions in their own businesses. Companies may begin to question the balance of social media in their mix of marketing activities based on this study. The study results suggest strong cautions to over-reliance on buzz marketing and social media.

What does this mean for your business or brand? Here are four recommendations for successfully marketing your business.

  1. Communication in traditional and digital platforms of a unique and branded message (rather than “buzz”) is still job #1 for marketers.
  2. Budget-constrained marketers should not rely solely on social media as it is not a strong standalone tactic.
  3. Digital marketing (web banners, search, etc.) is not social media, and does perform well in communicating a message and targeting prospective customers.
  4. Try to focus social media conversations (build “buzz”) around new products or company news. The spread of this type of information can build awareness and credibility and generate sales.

What does this mean for your marketing approach?

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One Response to What Does Coke’s Social Media Study Mean for Your Business?

  1. Augustine Wolfensperger says:

    If you are starting a new business, you need to have a solid business plan and a strategy for marketing your new business. You must take advantage of new and improved media marketing techniques before they become passe and ineffective. If you are using social media as a marketing tool, provide some good incentives, but do not be pushy. Consumers are turned off by pushy or forceful sales tactics. ^

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