Coke vs. Pepsi on Twitter

Does Twitter work for big companies?  If so, what works?  I notice that Pepsi uses a different strategy than Coke in that they personalize their profile by naming people, “now serving Ana and Rachel,” as in charge of their Twitter profile.  They also link to a specific website called, “PepsiVerse” (http://www.refresheverything.com/) which is an interactive site allowing people to add videos and photos. 

Coke on the other hand doesn’t name people on its profile as responsible for tweets and links to its official corporate website.  For a product that want to appeal to new consumers i.e. “America’s Youth,” I think the Pepsi approach makes more sense.  I also notice that Pepsi has more than 15,000 followers versus less than 10,000 for Coke but I’m not sure that’s the metric to measure the success of their campaign by.

What does this tell me?  I’m skeptical of corporate use of Twitter.  I think Twitter is meant for people to follow people.  That’s why it allows users to find “People” not companies.  And I think that companies using Twitter and social networking generally need to take the Pepsi approach rather than Coke but frankly, I think Pepsi should take it farther.  Why not design a campaign around a contest to name the #1 Pepsi drinker for the week or month?  I would infuse a heavy dose of personality into a corporate social networking campaign.  Take risks too.  If something doesn’t work, social networking is a forgiving medium that changes quickly.  Keep experimenting even when something does work. Keep it fresh.

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