Advertising has had to adapt to the dramatic change created by new media—prominently social media. Customers today are smarter than ever and they are able to recognize advertisements and sponsored videos/events. When consumers recognize blatant advertising they are prone to blocking it out. Therefore, brands need to come up with more entertaining and creative means of advertising. Brands recognize that their customers spend a lot of time on social media, therefore the best way to connect is to join the creative channel. Brands try to tailor to the individual, and they use the help of Facebook to communicate with their target audience.
Large brands use Facebook’s principle of relevance by connecting themselves with the consumers that are a part of their target audience. Now, the most important part is not just to get “likes” from the Facebook community, but to engage with the people who liked them. Brands pay Facebook to show their posts to their target audience, and using a regular Facebook user’s search history, they are able to see if the brand’s ad would be able to catch the attention of the user.
For example, Coca-Cola, one of the most recognizable brands, uses Facebook to advertise. Coca-Cola is home to 20 billion dollar brands such as Sprite, Fanta, and Diet Coke. On Coca-Cola’s main Facebook page they have 93 million fans. However, Coca-Cola differs from other brands, they do not post many day-to-day updates. Other brands post just about daily on their pages. This is mainly because Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy is not aimed at encouraging people to visit its shops, as there are none, but rather maintaining a positive brand image and raising awareness of new campaigns such as the “Share a Coke” campaign, which encouraged consumers to buy a physical coke to share with a friend and also sharing their story online. In addition to its main page, Coca-Cola also has several other pages each dedicated to their own product (like Sprite, Fanta, etc.). These Facebook pages also allow the brand to communicate with its customers, and it make’s everything seem more personal and intimate.
Facebook is extremely helpful to Coca-Cola because they are able to achieve an international reach. Coca-Cola exports to 200 countries, and 50% of its sales are from countries outside the US. For example, through Facebook, Coca-Cola was able to focus on consumer’s in India, a country that drinks mostly tea and coffee. Coca-Cola was successfully able to convince consumer’s that Coke was the best drink for the summer. Using Audience Insights on Facebook, Coca-Cola was able to spot out its target audience in India using demographic and geographic date. Coca-Cola targeted men and woman aged 16-30 in 7 states in India. Overall, Facebook is able to provide international insight for large brands like Coca-Cola.