Coca-Cola and Social Media Policies

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A company known for its presence across the globe and social media is Coca-Cola. The Coke Company social media policy is readily available on their website, and has been shared on Facebook and Twitter 75 times each, which is pretty impressive. 

Coke opens up their social media policy by discussing what social media means to them. They realize how many people, all over, talk about them each and everyday, and according to them, they want their more than 150,000 associates in more than 200 countries to join in on those conversations and to represent the company in the best possible manner. 

They go on to provide their employees with social media principles which they should use both in their personal and professional lives. Coke tells their employees to be smart, but still have fun. 

Coke then goes on to list their company commitments, which involve being transparent, responsible, and respectful. 

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After listing their company policy towards social media, they go on to discuss their social media policy for employees on their personal time.  

Coca-Cola says that they respect the rights of their associates and authorized agencies’ associates to use blogs and other social media tools for both self-expression and as a means to further the company’s business. 

The Coke Company encourages their employees to use social media but to be responsible. 

Here are their expectations for personal social media use: 

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I am very supportive of the Coca-Cola Company’s social media policy. Being transparent in all social media engagements is incredibly important, and all companies should make an active effort to do so. I also like that they encourage their employees to use social media, have fun, and try to further the company on their personal accounts if applicable. Coca-Cola also makes a good decision by telling their employees they alone are responsible for their personal actions, and if they decide to discuss the company on their personal profiles they must announce that they are affiliated with the company, and that they should consult the prepared company responses when dealing with topics that require subject matter expertise.

However, I don’t like the style of how their company and personal policies are written because they are a little complex and wordy. The policies would be better if they were written in more of a bullet point style, especially for their personal policy, although I appreciate how much detail they provide their employees with. In regards to their personal policy, they also reference several other policies, which they could provide hyperlinks to if possible so that they are more readily available for their employees, unless that is not possible for reasons legal or other.  

Overall, Coke has a great social media policy. They address all the necessary topics for both personal and private use, but their format could use some work. Other than that, Coke should keep it up! Companies need to have social media policies for their employees in their work and personal lives, and Coke does a great job making their expectations known. People need to make good decisions and be responsible for what they post, and Coke seems to be teaching their employees that.

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Follow the Trending Topics and Consistently Post: The Next Steps for Zita Bridal Salon

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Zita Bridal Salon has made a step in the right direction when it comes to its social media accounts. They are lightyears ahead of other local companies, which sometimes lack social media accounts. However, while Zita should be commended for its use of Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram, it is missing a key element of social media strategy-Consistency! 

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Long-term, Zita Bridal Salon should hire a person (or company if the budget allows for it) to manage its social media accounts. Many of their posts on social media lack engagement, and having one person write content for them may be beneficial. 

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They also absolutely need to employ a social media content calendar. While they use their accounts, they do not use them consistently enough. Their Instagram account could be swimming in activity, however in over 8 months, they have only had 19 posts. Much like their Instagram account, their Twitter activity had an apparent hiatus from July until November, which isn’t doing them any favors. With over 200 followers, they need to remind their potential consumers that they exist!

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A content calendar would give them a schedule of what to post, and how frequently to do so, which may help bring business to their shop. 

 

Short-term, and above all, the company really needs to put a focus on just getting out there. While they don’t want to tweet just for the sake of tweeting, a company like Zita Bridal Salon, that has limited repeat customers, needs to continuously put themselves out there to be noticed and stand out amongst competitors. 

 

While it is harder for a small company (or even a large one) to post new content to Youtube everyday, a tweet or two a day, is not impossible. 

 

One thing Zita Bridal Salon could do right now to get involved is to use trending topics! Whether it is on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, Zita cannot be afraid to jump into the conversation in new ways. For example, on a Wednesday night, they could tweet, “Are you and your bridesmaids planning your wedding on this fabulous Wednesday night? Tell us about it! #WineWednesday #ZitaBridalSalon.” Another popular Wednesday topic is #WisdomWednesday. To incorporate this, Zita could Instagram stress-relieving quotes to remind the bride what her wedding day is really all about. 

 

By joining in on the trending conversations, potential consumers will recognize their presence without the overwhelming feeling like Zita is constantly trying to sell something. 

 

Hiring one person to handle their social media accounts and their content would be beneficial, as would setting up a content calendar, but until those things can be done, consistent conversations on trending topics across social media are the way to go! Potential customers will be more aware of Zita through social media, and more likely to stop in the store! Zita should want to remind people that they exist.

Essential Elements of Social Media: A How To For Your Brand

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Social media is bigger than it has ever been, and this trend of expansion does not seem to be slowing down at any time in the near future. Brands are getting more involved in the social space, but it is important to do it right, simply joining Facebook is not enough. To do social media “right” the essential elements of a social media strategy must be considered. 

What are the essential elements of a social media strategy? That’s a loaded question, especially because a specific answer to that question varies greatly from brand to brand. 

There are common essential elements to social media strategy. To discover what your brand should do, your brand first needs to discover what it wants to accomplish through social media. Do you simply want to raise awareness? Do you want to increase sales in general? Or increase the sales of a particular product? Are you trying to better understand your consumers? Whatever your particular goals are, just make sure that they are clearly known by those on your social media team. And be sure that any goals you set are realistic!

After you have considered your overall goal, FIND YOUR VOICE. That may sound like an inspirational poster a teenage girl might have hanging in her bedroom, but it’s great advice for a brand. Does your brand want to be like Mercedes, a brand that exudes excellence and sophistication, and sells beliefs in addition to cars?  

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Or like Infiniti, whose commercials essentially mock Mercedes and their owners for being conformists? Whatever you want to be, own it! Make your voice your own in every sense. If your brand wants to be funny or use popular slang, it can do that, the brand voice just needs to remain consistent over all social media platforms. But if you grow to dislike your brand voice, or it is not helping you achieve your goals, it is important to remember that you can gradually change it over time. 

The next essential element of social media is content. CONTENT IS KEY. Is what you’re telling your consumers innovative? Or is it just taking up space on their newsfeed? Your content should be unique to your brand and voice. It should be innovative and spark conversation. And above all, your content should NOT always be about your products!

An important essential element of social media strategy is to remember that all social spaces should not be treated equally. Ginny Long Director of Digital and Direct Marketing for Moen gave a presentation on Moen’s Social Media Journey. In her presentation, she said it was an important lesson for them to learn that not all social media platforms are the same, and should not be used in the same ways. The graphic Ms. Long showed in her presentation is cute and funny, but there is some truth behind it that brands must remember. 

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Next, brands must remember to let conversations develop in their social space! Let your consumers talk. If your company is food based, let consumers share recipes. If you can jump in, feel free to do so, but not everything is about the brand and product sales at all times. Brands also need to remember to respond to all questions and comments directed specifically at them, regardless of whether they are positive or negative. Your consumers will appreciate your feedback, and that will hopefully keep them coming back. 

Lastly, keep your goal or goals in mind. Find ways to monitor your goals and discover whether or not your brand is reaching them. Tools like Sysomos are great for this. Do not be afraid to change your strategy, and take your time getting adjusted in each social space.

Essential elements of social media strategy do differ for every brand, and the elements themselves may change over time since social media is constantly evolving. But at this time, these elements are the most essential, so remember: 

1. Set a Realistic Social Media Goal

2. Find Your Voice & Be Consistent

3. Content is Key

4. Not All Social Spaces are Equal

5. Conversations & Response

6. Monitor the Progress of Your Goals

Pinterest and Uncrate: The Best Places for Discovering and Collecting Content

Pinterest and Uncrate are my two favorites when it comes to discovering new things and collecting them in an organized manner.

Although it seems to be losing a little steam compared to this time last year, I see Pinterest as a top-notch platform for content discovery and collecting. 

While I can still check up on what my friends are into by looking at what they’ve recently pinned, the focus is on the consumer content rather than my friends themselves, which is quite the opposite of Facebook. 

I personally like Pinterest because it helps me gather my thoughts and ideas onto different boards. Pinterest sparks my creativity, and gives me something to do with my time both by being on the website and by bringing my pins to life. 

As a junior at Marquette, this is my first year not living in a dorm, and I can definitely say that Pinterest has shaped my apartment and lifestyle. Pinterest gave my roommates and I countless ideas for how to decorate our apartment, from things we could buy to DIY crafts. The wall art hanging over my bed may have never happened without Pinterest guiding me.

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Pinterest also supplies me with countless recipes for cooking and baking. I am gluten free and on a low sodium diet, which can restrict the things I eat quite a lot. I am always looking for new, flavorful recipes to try. With Pinterest, I am never at a loss for something new to make. 

Overall, Pinterest is a fun platform for content discovery and collecting. It sparks the imagination, prompts me to challenge myself in the kitchen and who knows-maybe it’ll help my dream wedding come true!

My second favorite content gathering site/app is Uncrate. While its content is geared toward men, there are still plenty of things for girls to get into. The website prides itself on being a digital magazine of what’s cool and new, and the app is an even sleeker version of the information. Men can use the app to buy clothes they see and like right then and there, and for me, I like looking at the cool things like highlighter pencils and books that teach the meaning behind rap lyrics. This is also a great site for women to gather gift ideas for anyone in their lives, especially dads, brothers, and boyfriends who can be tricky to buy for.

With an account on Uncrate, you have the opportunity to save items to your “stash” and you can even share that list with others via email or social media.  

Both Pinterest and Uncrate are great platforms for content discovery and collecting. I love using both and would recommend them to everyone!

Do You Value Facebook Memes?

When I first read the PR Daily Article Why Facebook Should Stop Judging Content Quality” I was a little upset by Facebook’s decision to devalue memes. The article got the response it was looking for in me when it said, “You are too stupid to recognize quality posts (Carter, paragraph 3).”

 

But then I stopped and really thought about it. Personally, I don’t like memes. I ignore them when they are on my newsfeed, and I would be happy to see even less of them. 

 

This weekend, I had the great opportunity to talk to someone who works at Facebook, and I mentioned this topic. Although he did not personally work on the code that assigns value to posts, he said there may have been several reasons for this. He said that it was true, Facebook did think memes were of lower content, for reasons that make sense. Memes are not completely original works, which may cause some problems with copyright law. And in a sense, they are actually quite similar to posts that beg for “likes.” They do not stir up much original conversation or earn many “shares,” instead they just gather “likes.” Therefore, they are of “lower quality.” 

 

My initial feelings did not last long. While I do not personally appreciate memes because they seem a bit like spam to me, I still do believe that we should have some say as to what appears on our newsfeed. In my settings, I should be able to say whether or not I would like memes to appear, even possibly going as far as to select which brand or company’s memes I would like to see. This would be the best of both worlds. People like me who like memes, but do not necessary appreciate businesses trying to use them, could decide for themselves just how important memes are. 

 

Above all, I believe that Facebook is trying to make improvements, and do what they think is both best and what their users want. Just because memes have been devalued now does not mean that they will be forever.

How Social Media Could Have Changed 9/11

It is hard to believe that this week marked the 12th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11. I remember that day vividly. Sitting at my desk in third grade feeling like I understood everything and nothing at the same time. 

 

If those attacks happened now, in this day and age, I really believe that things would have been much different. 

 

Social media is so easy to use and so accessible now, and with cell phones always handy, more people would have gotten to talk to their loved ones. 

 

For those who were trapped in the World Trade Center and could not get out, social media may have been able to provide a platform for exchanges to take place. Cell towers were congested, but with wifi and phones and 3G and 4G service, there may have been more closure. For those who did get out, they could let their loved ones know immediately, instead of inducing a panic over “what-ifs.” 

 

Just like those trapped in the buildings, those trapped in the hijacked planes also could have gotten last minute messages out. 

 

Social media, especially Twitter, would be a place for love and memories. Often social media is now thought of with a slight negative connotation because some say it takes away from our actual relationships. If Twitter had existed then, it would have done the opposite. 

 

Social media also would have changed the way 9/11 was reported. I remember the news just being a constant loop of the first and second towers getting attacked. If the attacks happened now, I think social media would have constant reports of varying information. With technology so advanced, there would most likely be more breaking developments in the stories of the terrorist attacks, so the news would be constantly changing. Then, it seemed like time was standing still and people struggled to find out what was happening. 

 

Journalists would have been able to share articles immediately, instead of trying to post information on sites that kept crashing. 

 

In terms of swaying public opinion, I do not know if social media would have been that big of a factor. The news of that day was so shocking, that people were barely processing, let alone forming a strong opinion. Unlike many other major news events, different media outlets shared a similar opinion, and there was a sense of pride for our nation. I believe that that would still be true with social media.

 

With social media, there also may have been a shift from focusing on the horrifying news to focusing on what is and was good in the world. Instagram may have been a place for people to share pictures of people doing good deeds, and opening up their homes to people in need. Twitter would have broken news at lightning speed. Facebook would have allowed people to communicate. 

 

It has been 12 years since that fateful day, and it is not any less devastating. Thousands of people lost their lives that day, and even more lost people they loved. Had social media been what it is today, at least there may have been a way to say goodbye and spread the news.

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