Content, strategy and creating value in a digital world

‘The internet is permanent’ – Coke

Coca Cola have developed a new social media policy. Of course it being about social media, the first thing they’ve done is make it available online to anyone who’d like to read it – you can read it here , or see a video at the bottom of this post of Adam Brown, Head Of Social Media at coke explaining the policy (thanks digitalbuzz blog).

I like the fact that Coke emphasises that social media isn’t some foreign beast that requires its own set of rules of engagement: “simply because the development and implementation of an online social media program can be fast, easy, and inexpensive doesn’t mean that different rules apply”

This is a really encouraging sign that social media marketing really is maturing. For too long marketers and creatives have tried to imply that social media marketing is a dark art, only understood and to be practised by the privileged few.

Now, finally people are coming round to the idea that it’s simply another channel, for which the same rules apply, with slightly different emphasis.

One final point does stand out though: “The internet is permanent”.

Can you hear the horror movie-style soundtrack?

It’s a brilliant statement that brings to mind images of digital archaeologists of the future sifting through the digital ephemera of generations past, trying to make sense of them.

But what I suspect it actually boils down to is an admission from Coke that once a piece of digital/social marketing goes “out there” it is beyond the control of the company that made it.

It’s one of the most exciting – and frightening – parts of social media marketing. And it’s this that sets apart great social media marketers from the rest – the ability to create messages and experiences that retain and enhance the spirit of the brand within a space and time beyond that brand’s control… potentially forever.


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January 2010
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