Coca-Cola Centralizes Its North American Social Media Operations

By Erik Oster Comment

Coca-Cola is centralizing its social media operations under the Publicis “umbrella,” creating the North American Social Center to manage social media marketing for all its brands, in a move The Drum calls “less a shift in the traditional agency model and more a course correction to how things should function as brands reach social media maturity.”

The team consists of a staff of around 55, including in-house marketers from Coca-Cola and ad agency professionals from Publicis’ Moxie, Havas and Possible. North American Social Center will handle everything from social listening and analytics to  community management to content strategy and creation for all Coca-Cola brands. According to The Drum, Possible is taking the lead on the strategic side, utilizing its “empathy model” to measure social audiences’ reactions to trending events and help the brand respond in real-time.

“We are continuously looking for new and innovative ways to connect people with our brands. We recently adopted a global Coca-Cola system approach to how we plan, create and execute real-time social media marketing in the U.S.,” a Coca-Cola spokeswoman explained to The Drum. “With our agency partners, we are growing our social media expertise in-house and centralizing operations.”

While explicitly a move for message consistency across brands, the decision also will help Coca-Cola cut its social media marketing costs at a time when the soft drink industry is struggling. The move comes amidst rumors that its chief competitor, Pepsi, is reportedly taking its social media business in-house.

It also arrives on the heels of Coca-Cola launching a review for its Diet Coke brand after Droga5 resigned the account. The centralizing approach to social media also echoes the brand’s strategy for advertising outside the U.S., in which it utilizes a strategy with ads typically featuring more than one Coca-Cola brand.

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