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June 19, 2012

Despite the stunning growth of social media use, questions linger for many businesses trying to decide if Facebook, Twitter and the rest are revolutionary changes or simply fads. No one really knows yet but inaction remains a poor choice.

During the Coca‑Cola Retailing Research Council of North America presentation at FMI’s convention in May a number of audience members and Twitter followers submitted questions that could be distilled together into the headline of this blog: is social media for real and, if so, how do we start using it?

Luckily we answer a lot of those questions in the five parts of the new council study available at www.ccrrc.org (North America page). As the study shows, the use of social media is growing rapidly, especially among adults above age 35. While social media use doesn’t match traditional media like television, the size of the audience is huge and growing fast. And within those numbers readers can get clear ideas on how business can use social media to build relationships, community and sales.

The study also lays out some clear ideas on how businesses can start interacting with shoppers to show a willingness to listen and build dialog, recipes, shopping strategies and more. That includes dealing with positive and negative feedback, both of which can strengthen your ties to shoppers.

In short, social media can be a real tool for your company, but only if you start engaging.


Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca‑Cola Retailing Research Council ofNorth America