Coca-Cola tracks social media "buzz"


ATLANTA: Coca-Cola, the soft drinks giant, has developed a new tool enabling it to track the online "buzz" related to its products on social networks like Twitter, the microblogging service.

A page set up on Facebook by two "fans" of Coca-Cola has been one of the most successful such sites on the popular portal, and earlier this year the company also announced its intention to focus on channels such as these in the future.

However, a recent ranking of the performance of the world's biggest brands on social media argued the owner of Sprite and Fanta could currently be characterised as being a "wallflower" in this area.

In an effort to more closely follow the online conversation regarding its various assets, the beverage maker has now created its own "branded URLs", making it the first such company to do so.

The Coke URL system operates in the same way as those offered by bit.ly, Su.pr and tinyurl, effectively shortening the web links in posts made on social networking services, allowing users to save space.

Such a device is of particular use on portals like Twitter, which has a limit of 140 characters in terms of the length of an individual "tweet".

According to the initiative's website, "as social media continues to evolve we have increasingly smaller spaces to get our messages across. Coke URL is just one way we're making happiness easier to share."

One aim of the scheme is to ensure that entries made using Coke URL on the various social media platforms on which the company operates appear more "credible" among web users.

In turn, it is hoped this added authenticity will drive up the number of people clicking on these links to view the original information they relate to.

Bit.ly currently offers a tracking service which is tied to Google Analytics, but it is not known whether Coca-Cola has developed a similar measurement capacity beyond basic metrics such as clickthroughs.

Data sourced from Revolution; additional content by WARC staff, 11 August 2009

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