If you’ve known me for more than one day, you know that I’m a Diet Coke drinker. Not Diet Pepsi, or Coke Zero, or any other low calorie knock-off. The truth is, when I was young, my mother drank Diet Coke on occasion, but as a single mother, she couldn’t afford to buy it often. Santa used to deliver cases of Diet Coke, with a huge red bow, under our Christmas tree. By high school, with a job of my own, I’d buy Diet Coke from the vending machine for breakfast. Am I an addict? Possibly. I’ve been trying to cut back and am down to 1-2 cans per day. But, if ever asked, I will always state that Diet Coke is the nectar of the gods.
This week I’m looking at Facebook use from a public relations perspective. Specifically, what does your Facebook use say about your brand? Diet Coke’s Facebook page has more than 2.15 million likes and its posts average at least 100 shares a piece. As committed to its fans as fans are to the product, Diet Coke posts on Facebook at least once daily. Each post is of quality content that engages and encourages fans.
Several themes emerge from my audit of the Diet Coke Facebook page.
- Create interesting content every day. Diet Coke’s posts are creative – playfully transforming a very familiar label into art, and celebrating EVERY calendar event (from the first day of Spring to National Women’s Day).
- Use new media to honor your history. Diet Coke has “Throwback Thursdays” in which it remembers the brand over three decades. Lifelong fans remember the old slogans and branding, and for me at least, these Throwback posts bring me back to a time when I needed Diet Coke between band practice and my modern western civilization class, or when my love of Diet Coke landed me my first job (the hiring manager was drinking Diet Coke for breakfast during my interview).
- Integrate social media into your corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns. Employing cross-channel communication, Diet Coke first held a photo contest, called #ShowYourHeart, asking participants to Tweet or post on Instragram their original pictures of hearts to increase awareness of women’s heart disease.
The contest was so successful that the Company extended it, offering to donate $1 to women’s heart health programs for every picture sent after the contest ended. The high visibility the Company enjoys on Facebook added to the success of this CSR initiative.
- Publicly thank your fans. As if continuing to mass produce the world’s greatest soft drink (Hey, I admitted my bias in the first paragraph, though I must say that I am in no way being reimbursed for these comments. I still have to pay for my Diet Coke.) weren’t enough, Diet Coke listens to and recognizes its fans on Facebook.
In fact, Diet Coke not only rewarded this fan by putting her picture in front of 2 million fans, the Company gave her Taylor Swift concert tickets!
- Lastly, one quick glance at the Diet Coke Facebook page and its spokesperson is no mystery! Humanizing a brand in the age of social media – at a time when perhaps consumers have more power than ever before – is a necessity. Humanizing the brand with the recognizable face of a well-liked, cross-generational superstar is frosting on the cake.