Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Social Media Is New Marketing Battleground for Colas

Pepsi and Coke are among a multitude of companies buying into social media's ability to strengthen their brands. According to a 2011 Nielsen survey, consumers are 55 percent more likely to recall ads that include social-media components than non-social ads. Pepsi Pulse is the latest social-media entrant, offering chances for celebrity encounters.



The cola wars are escalating on the social-media front. With its launch [of] Pepsi Pulse, a pop culture destination on Pepsi.com, the snack-food giant aims to be a major player in conversations on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites such as Pinterest.

Rival Coca-Cola is partnering with social-music site Spotify to add fizz to its own online presence. Spotify's music-streaming player will be integrated into Coke's 41-million strong Facebook page. Also in the works: a Coke app on Spotify's service.

Pepsi and Coke are among a multitude of companies buying into social media's ability to strengthen their brands. Consumers are 55% more likely to recall ads that include social-media components than non-social ads, according to a 2011 Nielsen survey. "Consumers are incredibly empowered, and what used to work to get their attention now needs a bit more thoughtfulness," says Brian Solis, principal analyst at the Altimeter Group and author of The End of Business as Usual.


Use of the Twitter hashtags "#LiveForNow" and "#Now" would reflect Pepsi's new "Live for Now" campaign theme. Those celebrity challenges, expected to occur as often as weekly, "are all about inspiring and getting consumers to live in the now," Singh says. "This is about integrating into pop culture in a meaningful way."

Pepsi has enlisted social-media optimization company SocialFlow to do the real-time analysis of pop culture conversations on Twitter, Facebook and other sites. Its findings will be used to create the pop culture ranking. Consumers can find the ranking on Pepsi Pulse, along with current pop culture coverage and stories that are generating buzz. Pepsi will have a major promotion on Yahoo.com this Wednesday, aimed at driving traffic to Pepsi Pulse.

Coke is looking to Spotify to help it build on its Coca-Cola Music program, which last year included a 24-hour interactive studio session with rock band Maroon 5.





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