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Today, we're launching a new weekly Twitter showdown of some of the biggest companies on the web, in your grocery store or on your brain. Today's competitors are some of the most well known brands on the planet.

Yep. It's Coca-Cola verses Pepsi. When have we heard that before? But this time, we're not having a blind taste test. With the help of Visual.ly's new easy to create infographics, we could easily compare these two drink giants.

First, a little background on what our competitors are doing.

Let's start with Coca-Cola. Last fall the company released a video manifesto of sorts showing how it will be moving to storytelling and content creation in the lead up to 2020. (You can watch part one and part two on YouTube) Its plan is to act and react 365 days a year and it is looking to Twelpforce as a great example of customer service on Twitter. 

Cola-Cola is also moving from one way to dynamic storytelling. It's really about developing the incremental elements of a brand idea that get dispersed across multiple channels of conversation for the purpose of creating a united brand experience. The role of content excellence is to behave like a ruthless editor otherwise there could be a risk of creating noise. It wants to create "liquid content" that is easily sharable and ensure that it links across its platforms.

As storytelling is at the heart of all families, all communities and all cultures, this is a smart move for a company that wasn't as fast to the game as Pepsi.

Speaking of Pepsi, let's move on to our second Twitter showdown competitor. 

Pepsi embraced social media early on. In fact it is two years ahead of Coke's new content push "Live Positively." In 2010, Pepsi launched its Refresh Project where it gave away 20 million for ideas that can help advance society in six different categories. Through the Pepsi Refresh Project, it impacted the lives of more than 1.4 million people through more than 1,000 grants awarded.

Like Coke, Pepsi is also focusing on story. At the recent Festival of Media Global conference in Switzerland, Pepsi's EVP and CMO, Salman Amin, said: "Don't bring me media plans, bring me amazing stories." He also announced that 90% of the internet will be video by 2015. If you look at its brand pages, you can see Pepsi's push to Facebook and YouTube over Twitter which confirms its move to video. But that doesn't mean Pepsi aren't leveraging Twitter to tell the stories its customers want to engage with.

As you can see in the infographic below, Coke tweets a lot more than Pepsi. It still has less followers but has more mentions. Going to their respective Twitter pages you can see why. Coke tweets A LOT to its customers in both English and Spanish.  It establishes who is tweeting (^GD or ^AN) and mainly uses this Twitter account as a response tool. This is very much a reflection on how it holds up Twelpforce as an example to follow on Twitter. 

Though there is a lot of engagement, there isn't much sharing of content by the Coke handle itself. For a brand that is looking at content as being a driving force, it isn't reflected here. At this point in time, this wouldn't be a very useful feed for those looking for a well-rounded experience though the mentions of the brand are growing. Pepsi, on the other hand, has a Twitter feed full of useful content.

Personally, the Pepsi Twitter page has more personality and the tone of voice fits the brand. It's upbeat and young. It also mentions the people who are tweeting on the account. Though the Pepsi tweeters don't put their initials by their tweets (which is a nice thing to do if you name the account holders in the bio), they are responsive and are sharing content that isn't always Pepsi branded. Usefully, it's content that the fans of its drink are interested in. They are curators of relevant content and aren't just pushing their own agenda. That is one of the signs of good engagement.  

The link on Pepsi's Twitter page also goes back to its Facebook page which further highlights its deep engagement and that page acts as a portal to the different parts of its brand. Coke, on the other hand, links to its home page which is more corporate, and doesn't highlight the engagement fans are having with the brand, which is definitely a lost opportunity if it's looking to highlight our stories.

So the winner of today's Twitter Showdown? For the moment, it's Pepsi, mostly for tone and content. But as Coke gears up its content strategy and continues to continually engage with its customers, Pepsi better look out.

Heather Taylor

Published 23 April, 2012 by Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor is the Editorial Director for Econsultancy US. You can follow her on Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

236 more posts from this author

Comments (3)

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Dwight Miller

Why your editor needs to be fired:

Coca-Cola always has the second "C" capitalized.

" It's plan is to act..."-there should be no apostrophe.

"...conversation for the purposes of creating a united brand experience."- 'purposes' should be singular.

"In fact are two year's ahead of Coke's new content push "Live Positively." " - no apostrophe in "year's" needed. Sentence reads like a fragment.

" Pepsi are also focusing on story. " -plural verb with a singular subject.

"They establish who is tweeting (^GD or ^AN) and mainly uses..."- singular noun follows plural subject.

"Coke gears up it's content strategy..."- no apostrophe.

Just because it is on the internet doesn't mean that grammar is optional.

over 4 years ago

Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor, Editorial Director at Econsultancy

Hi Dwight,

Thank you or your constructive criticism. Errors have been corrected and you are correct on one point. Grammar isn't optional on the internet, but at least it can be changed.

over 4 years ago

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Katharina Volkmer

Hi Heather,

Thank you very much for this great article. I am currently writing a paper about Coca-Cola and Pepsi's strategies on Twitter and your showdown confirms my findings. Did you know that Pepsi gained 450,000 of its followers between last October and January? Again, thank you very much for your insights.

Katharina Volkmer

about 4 years ago

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