Social media engagement : content marketing

Social media engagement : content marketing


Content marketing is essential in today’s marketing world which could be enhanced by social media. Not only huge companies, many individuals and small businesses are also struggle to fit social media.  Social media enable companies to maximize the benefit from internet and it provides a testing ground for broad marketing campaigns. Content marketing on social media is s two-way conversation. You should put the needs of targets audiences first. The value of content marketing on social media is the relationship between company and audience.Content marketing  could promote audience’s understanding for your brand as a thought leader (Linn,2010)

An typical example can be seen on Coca-cola. They utilize social media to engage audiences to express. Coca-Cola has held an event with Maroon 5, the American pop rock band.  Audience could interact with Maroon 5 though Twitter and they have created a song together. So this song used for advertising is mixed with audience’s feelings and  it is easy to spread the brand.  Coca-Cola focus on audience’s expression and mostly interact with audience through social media.  They also pointed out that the ‘expression ’ could be engaged. ”Feed it with content that touches consumers, passion points like sports, music and popular culture.”


Another strategy of engagement though social media is ‘Expedition 206’ which aimed to attract Web-centric teens. It is Coca-Cola’s Largest Social-Media Project Ever. There are three “happiness” ambassadors which chosen by the public, traveled to all of the 206 countries that Coca-Cola is sold. During the travel, these ambassadors posted videos and updated about their trip to share with audience through social media like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Audiences could also post comments to them to gave them some  tips on the countries they are staying in. Therefore, in this case, social media is like a bridge, connecting internet with real world. Moreover, customers from all different backgrounds in different areas could connect with the brand and promote their understanding of this brand.

Expedition 206 on YouTube


Joe Tripodi (2012) , the chief marketing and commercial officer of Coca-Cola shared some advice about their consumer engagement. He mentioned that impressions are passive, the process of impression is company to consumer. But expression is the feedback from consumer and consumer engagement with their brand is ultimately what they are trying to achieve.


During my assignment 2, I found that  it is difficult to attract audiences to follow and  it is also hard to motivate them to share their opinion or experience. One reason is that content on social media was just describe the product and service, aimed to make a profound impression to audiences. Even though there is bonus to motivate followers to share their opinion, it is also a passive communication. The case of Coca-cola inspired me which is ”content marketing”. The goal of content marketing campaign shouldn’t be to sell. Compared with just describe the brand or product on social media platforms, it is better to create and share valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers. Therefore, today’s content marketing is not about distracting the customer, it’s to attract them with useful content. So it is easy to understand why Coca-Cola built an emotional connection with their audience. They linked their content with audiences’s interest like sports, film stars and provide valuable content regularly.

Coca-Cola was popular as a “vision brand” for over 100 years. In the information age, their mission is not about selling products but to create positive change in the world. On traditional media, story telling was static and audiences was passive. But in the information age, it is dynamic and more interactive.  Ashley Callahan(2013), Coke’s Manager of Digital Communications and Social Media, stated that they use a checklist to check if the content is attractive and captivating enough to draw consumers in. They listed some standards like “Does it have universal appeal?”, “Does it surprise you?”, “Does it generate interest? ” “Is content being measured systematically?”

In the social age, brands are very brittle creations, you should produce content regularly and motivate audience engagement instead of just brand promotion. So in the “Content 2020” which is Coca-Cola’s marketing mission statement, they stated that “All advertisers need a lot more content so that they can keep the engagement with consumers fresh and relevant, because of the 24/7 connectivity.If you’re going to be successful around the world, you have to have fat and fertile ideas at the core.” (Mildenhall, 2012)

Social media platform is the decisive factor for engage audience though internet. Even though Facebook still dominates at 70% of account ownership,  Pinterest and Google+ is catching up to Facebook.The account ownership of Google+ is over 50%, maybe it is because Google+ account is mandatory, if you create a new Gmail account, you will get a Google+ account. As for China’s market, more than 2,701 websites are or were blocked in mainland China, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the most popular social networks are Weibo and Wechat. Actually, because of the large Chinese internet user population, the rise of China’s social networks will possibly be a threat in the future.

As for how to build social media into content marketing processes, it is essential that listening to audience to understand what they care about, so you can create content that they will find engaging and relevant. Actually, social media marketing and content marketing are quite similar and seemed interchangeable. Even though there can be a bit of overlap they are actually two distinct entities , with different goals, and processes. Social media marketing focuses on marketing activity which operating inside of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.In social media marketing, content should fit the context of the chosen social platform, for instance, 140 word limitation on Twitter. In contrast, in content marketing, the context of websites could be much longer forms of content. Brands can publish blog posts, videos,even E-books. The brand should provide high quality content regularly, and  become true media publishers.

As for the content, it needs to attract and retain an audience, moreover, it should promote audience’s understanding of the brand. Like “Expedition 206”, the three “Happiness Ambassadors” took photos, made videos, sent out updates on Twitter and Facebook and connected with individuals around the world.The whole trip aimed to  interacted with people around the world and sharing the idea of happiness and making connections that can exist beyond just language. Coca-Cola’s mission statement is “ To refresh the world”, “To inspire moments of optimism and happiness and “To create value and make a difference”.  The content marketing they chosen fit their company’s culture and aim. They also realized they should moving from “Creative Excellence” to “Content  Excellence”. In the information age, content is the key to marketing on social media.  (Bullas,2012)

Baer(2014) stated that “Social media envelops us like air. Content marketing is a place we (mostly marketers) can go visit, like a sparkling lake stocked with trout.” Even though the difference between content marketing and social media is huge. It could merge or converge with each other. The objective of content marketing is increase engagement, social media enable company to increase the reach of their content.



Content Marketing Institute, (2010). How to Explain the Value of Content Marketing | Content Marketing Institute. Available at: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2010/11/content-marketing-value/ 

Econsultancy, (2015). Coca-Cola’s storytelling: three lessons on content marketing and creativity. Available at: https://econsultancy.com/blog/63884-coca-cola-s-storytelling-three-lessons-on-content-marketing-and-creativity/

Forbes, (2014). What Is Content Marketing?. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2014/09/19/what-is-content-marketing/


Posted by: Hu Siyuan


2 thoughts on “Social media engagement : content marketing

  1. Hello there, good job on this article. I’m a big fan of CocaCola. I love the brand and love the drink as well. I followed CocaCola’s adds and campaigns all my life. In fact, my dream job is to work for Coke. Coke’s influence around the world is quite significant. I’m originally from Colombia and while growing up my friends and I would learn Coke’s jingles and collect their merchandise.
    I appreciate your detailed research from the minds behind the campaigns. Is good to hear from the actual strategists behind the content. I completely agree with Coke’s approach to social media. Their content is always refreshing and surprising and they seem to be asking the right questions. I feel they always tap into the emotional fabric of the consumers and they certainly promote positive thinking. I’m particularly curious to know how are they using social media to engage those consumers that are a bit disenchanted with the product due to its high levels of sugar. I know this has been a struggle for many companies and I would doubt Coke would be the exception. It would be interesting to research some of their crisis management polices and damage control practices. This is definitely a subject I would like to explore further. Thank you! #siemprecocacola 🙂


  2. Hi Siyuan,
    Your article is interesting, which deeply attracts me. You combined the examples and theory, which is clear for me to comprehend the contents of social media engagement. What’s more, you used links and multimedia files studied in this semester like pictures to illustrate the issue. Those are the advantages that I should apply into my blog.

    My article is about the audience of social media. Therefore, according to my comprehension, I want to share some opinions with you. Firstly, it is vital for enterprises to pay attention to the content marketing on social media. With the development of network technology, a large number of audiences have been using social media. Relatively, more corporations have been applying social media to promote their brands. Particularly, the prominent merit of social media is the interactive characteristic. In this process, the expression and thought of audience should be significantly considered. The published contents that could address audience’s demands might attract the public. For instance, similar as the example of Coca Cola that you mentioned in the article, recently, Fan Bingbing, a famous actress in China, has declared her amour. The following advertising of many companies use the contents that are related to the declaration to promote their productions in a wider range.

    Lan Yao.


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