How Coca-Cola Uses Social Media to Promote Corporate Social Initiatives

19792301106_fa09faba36_zWhat is the most effective way for companies to implement corporate social marketing (CSM)? In the Social Marketing Quarterly article “Examining Public Response to Corporate Social Initiative Types: A Quantitative Content Analysis of Coca-Cola’s Social Media,” authors Lucinda L. Austin and Barbara Miller Gaither suggest that the effectiveness depends upon the the corporate social initiative (CSI) type and the message content more than anything else. The abstract for the paper:

Corporate social initiatives (CSIs) are increasingly important in boosting public acceptance for companies, and emerging research suggests corporate social marketing (CSM) could be Current Issue Coverthe most effective type of CSI. However, scholars caution that CSM is not a one-size-fits-all. Through a content analysis of Coca-Cola’s social media posts on potentially controversial topics related to sustainability, health, and social change, this study explores how CSI type and message content influence public response to an organization’s social media corporate social responsibility posts. Posts emphasizing socially responsible business practices generally received the most favorable public response, while posts focused on cause promotion were received the most negatively. Findings also suggest that CSM is less effective when the issue and advocated behavior change appears to be acting against the company’s interests.

You can read “Examining Public Response to Corporate Social Initiative Types: A Quantitative Content Analysis of Coca-Cola’s Social Media” from Social Marketing Quarterly free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Social Marketing Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Coca-Cola image attributed to Aranami (CC)

Want to Spread Your Message on Facebook?

Dr. Linchi Kwok, Syracuse University

Editor’s note: We are pleased to welcome Linchi Kwok, assistant professor of Hospitality Management in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University, whose research interests include social media and its business implications, organizational behavior, and service operations. Dr. Kwok and Dr. Bei Yu, also of Syracuse University, published “Spreading Social Media Messages on Facebook: An Analysis of Restaurant Business-to-Consumer Communications” on September 24 in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.


Want to Spread Your Social Media Messages on Facebook?
This Study May Help

Being a phenomenologist and a practitioner of social media, I see Facebook as one of the most important means for B2C (business-to-consumer) communications. When a Facebook user likes, posts comments, or shares content with their Facebook credentials, an update will appear on this person’s wall, helping companies rapidly spread information. Thus, companies must pay close attention to Facebook users’ reactions to the messages they send on Facebook. Facebook users’ endorsement of a message can be very important in indicating the effectiveness of a company’s social media strategy.

Dr. Yu and I adopted the text mining techniques to identify the type(s) of Facebook that are endorsed (and thus propagated) by Facebook users. We analyzed 982 Facebook messages initiated by 10 restaurant chains and two independent operators, of which were among the top restaurants in terms of sales volume and number of Facebook fans. We found the following results: the “more popular” messages, which receive more “Likes” and comments, contain keywords about the restaurant (e.g., menu descriptions); the “less popular” messages seem to involve with sales and marketing. Dividing the messages into four media types (i.e., status, link, video, and photo), photo and status receive more “Likes” and comments. To dig further, we coded the messages into two message types, namely sales/marketing and conversational messages, which do not directly sell or promote the restaurants. As compared to sales and marketing messages, conversational messages receive more “Likes” and comments even though they only account for one third of the messages in this study. There is also a cross-effect of media type and message type on the number of comments a message received.

Based on the research findings, we outlined several detailed practical tactics in this paper to help companies improve their use of Facebook. Theoretically, the findings of this study provide ground work for developing a defined typology of Facebook messages and an automatic text classifier with the machine learning techniques.

Click here to read the article in the OnlineFirst section of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. Follow this link to learn more about the journal and this one to receive e-alerts about newly published articles that provide timely and actionable prescription for hospitality management practice and research.

Educating Our Future Business Leaders

Do you have a paper to submit? The Journal of Marketing Education is now accepting research on ethics, corporate social responsibility, sustainability and numerous other topics, welcoming cross-functional submissions about educating our future business leaders.

About the Journal

The Journal of Marketing Education (JME) is the leading international scholarly journal devoted to contemporary issues in marketing education. Its mission is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, information, and experiences related to the process of educating students in marketing and its subfields. Its audience is largely composed of marketing faculty members at institutions of higher education where teaching is an integral component of their overall responsibilities.

The main function of the Journal of Marketing Education is to publish articles focusing on the latest teaching/learning strategies and tactics in marketing education. JME also publishes articles that address various professional issues of importance to marketing faculty members. The journal’s readership is international in scope with significant representation in university libraries.

Submit Papers in these Areas

JME is accepting bylined articles from experts and practitioners on a wide range of topics related to marketing education, including:

  • Evaluating teaching effectiveness
  • Experiential exercises
  • Marketing in developing economies
  • Ethics
  • Student team projects

JME also plans to publish a special issue on ethics, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability in marketing education, with guest editors Victoria Crittenden and Linda Ferrell. The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2012. Please visit to view the special issue call for papers.

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to the Editor, Donald R. Bacon, at Authors are expected to review and conform with manuscript submission guidelines prior to making a submission. Questions about the submission process should be forwarded to the Editor at For more information, please visit and click “Manuscript Submission.”

“Eclectic, Timely, and Targeted”: Philip Kotler and Bill Novelli on Social Marketing

As the U.S. election season heats up, political marketing is everywhere. How does it interface with social marketing, which aims to change the behavior of individuals?

Management INK is pleased to announce the first SAGE-published issue of Social Marketing Quarterly (SMQ), which answers this question and more. This week, we present a special series to highlight the March 2012 edition, offering fresh perspectives on eclectic topics from the effectiveness of green marketing to the impact of a Facebook fan page. Click here to view the Table of Contents.

In the introduction, “American Politics and Social Marketing,” SMQ Editor Bill Smith talks with Philip Kotler, author of the worldwide bestseller “Marketing Management” and S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at Northwestern University; and Bill Novelli, Distinguished Professor of the Practice at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. The experts discuss the “intersecting circles” of political and social marketing and what we can learn from them:

Americans are getting ready to purchase a new set of politicians. The two great competing companies have pilot tested their products, even as new competitors are threatening to eat into the market share of the brand leaders. Segmentation research is guiding each party’s marketing strategy while continuous polling and focus grouping are keeping both campaigns agile. Ten of millions are being spent on new media and old media in the race to price and promote the two dominant product extensions.

As we inaugurated a new publisher for the Quarterly, this seems like a good time to reflect with two of social marketing’s iconic figures, Phil Kotler and Bill Novelli, on the interface between political and social marketing.

We’re not interested in picking the winners and losers, or which political party is doing better than the other. We want to talk about the process of modern political marketing and what we can learn from it that might be useful to us in social marketing.

Read the whole conversation here—and stay tuned for more highlights from SMQ on Management INK.

Social Marketing Quarterly, peer-reviewed and published quarterly, is a scholarly, internationally circulated journal that covers theoretical, research and practical issues confronting social marketers. Published in association with FHI360, SMQ is the only journal exclusively focused on social marketing issues. SMQ targets social marketers and other public health, communication, marketing, and social science professionals with research studies, case studies, conference notices, essays, editorials, book reviews, and other relevant news regarding social marketing efforts around the world. To learn more about the journal, please click here.

Are you interested in receiving email alerts whenever a new article or issue becomes available? Then follow this link!

JSR’s Founding Editor Receives AMA Educator Award

Roland T. Rust has been awarded the 2012 American Marketing Association/Irwin/McGraw-Hill distinguished Marketing Educator Award for his distinguished service and outstanding contribution in marketing education. Among his many contributions to the field is one near and dear to the SAGE family. Dr. Rust was the founding editor of the Journal of Service Research.

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Free Trial to SAGE Marketing Content

To celebrate the Winter Marketing Educators’ Conference of the American Marketing Association, SAGE is pleased to offer access to our Marketing journals via a free trial through March 19th, as well as links to our other Marketing and Management products. See below for details.

Register for a free trial to SAGE journals in Marketing and Hospitality.

Calls for Papers – View a full list of SAGE journals to read Aims & Scope and manuscript submission guidelines by journal.

SAGE Business and Management Journals, includes Marketing, in the 2010 Journal Citation Reports® (Thomson Reuters, 2011) – View highlights from the 2010 report.

SAGE Open – a new open-access publication from SAGE – publishes peer-reviewed, original research and review articles in an interactive, open access format. Articles span the full spectrum of the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities.

Marketing Journals: Click to Access Marketing Journals

Marketing Journal Rankings: Read the most-viewed post on Management INK from the Journal of Marketing Education.  Source: “A Comprehensive Analysis of Marketing Journal Rankings” by Michelle D. Steward and Bruce R. Lewis.

Marketing Books: Click to Access Marketing Books

Don’t miss these new texts: International Marketing by Daniel W. Baack, Eric G. Harris and Donald Baack; and Social Marketing: Influencing Behaviors for Good, Fourth Edition by Nancy R. Lee and Philip Kotler

Management Journals:

Click to Access Management Journals

Management Books:

Click to Access Management Books

Additional Resources:

SAGE Leadership Solutions

SAGE Research Methods

We hope to see you at the AMA Winter Marketing Educators’ meeting. Whether you’re able to attend or not, feel free to use these resources with our compliments.

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Examining Markets, Marketing, Consumers, and Society through Documentary Films

Russell Belk, York University, published “Examining Markets, Marketing, Consumers, and Society through Documentary Films” on August 23rd, 2011 in Journal of Macromarketing’s OnlineFirst collection. Dr. Belk kindly provided the following responses to his article.

Who is the target audience for this article?

Those with an interest in macromarketing, historical, or film research regarding markets, marketing, consumption, and society.

What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

I have been making documentary videos myself for the past 25 years and have been co-chairing a consumer research film festival for the past 10 years.

Were there findings that were surprising to you?

This is a conceptual piece trying to stir researchers to utilize documentary films in their work, so there are no findings as such.

How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

I hope it opens scholars eyes to the wealth of documentary material available.  On YouTube alone there are over 150 million videos posted, many of which qualify as documentary films.  All constitute a valuable archive of consumer (and marketer) use of visual online media and are ripe for analysis.  Together with other resources identified or exemplified, the time has never been better for documentary film research.

How does this study fit into your body of work/line of research?

As noted above, I have created documentary films as well as encouraged others to make them and show them at the film festivals I have coordinated.  I am now encouraging others to make use of the growing corpus of relevant film material.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could go back and do this study again?

If I had more pages I could go on and on about relevant films and provide many more examples.  Also after a few years the supply of available film material is not only going to be much larger, but will likely take new forms that we cannot imagine at present.

To learn more about the Journal of Macromarketing, please follow this link.

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