How Coke generated $100,000 worth of free Twitter Impressions in 1 day

Coca-Cola recently teamed up with Twitter in an attempt to break a world record by getting as many people as possible to use the #ShareaCoke hashtag. Using the hashtag displayed an emoji called a ‘hashflag.’ It’s the first time Twitter has built a custom emoji for a global advertising partner.

Breaking records are nice but what business impact, if any, did the campaign have for Coke?

I used our tool, Keyhole, to track the hashtag when it was announced; You can view the #ShareaCoke tracker here.

Keyhole ShareaCoke hashtag tracker
Keyhole #ShareaCoke Tracker

From September 15 to 22, the hashtag generated 155,108 posts, was shared by 50,169 unique users, reached a potential 179 million users and 488 million impressions.

What does 488 million potential impressions on Twitter mean?

Impressions measure how many times posts may potentially show up in timelines. According to numbers released by Twitter, a brand tweeting 3 times a day can expect to reach 30% of their followers in a week. That means each brand’s tweet receives about 2% of real impressions. According to our research, the impression rate of personal accounts are much higher but let’s use the conservative value of 2% to do the following calculations.

A 2% real impression rate means 9.76 million real impressions were served with the #ShareaCoke hashtag and emoji.  

What’s the economic value of 9.76 million impressions on Twitter?

The CPM of Twitter ads varies based on industry and targeting options. In 2013, the average number sat around $3.50 CPM.  Interestingly, AdParlor analyzed over $2 million dollars in ad spend across 30 unique advertisers in 2014 and came up with $10.36 CPM. We’ve seen similar numbers across the accounts we manage.

At $10.36 CPM, even with a conservative 2% real impression estimate, Coke received $101,113 worth of Twitter ad impressions — most of these impressions occurring on Sept 17, when the campaign was pushed.

Another interesting note:  According to our influencer trackers, most of the engagement generated by the #Shareacoke campaign didn’t come from Coke’s account, nor did it come from Twitter’s tweet, even though Twitter has 46 million followers. Here are the top 10 influencers based on average engagement rates of their #ShareaCoke tweets:

Top 10 influencers for #ShareaCoke

ShareaCoke influencers ranked by Keyhole according to average engagement rate of their followers
ShareaCoke influencers ranked by Keyhole. You can find the influencers ranked in real-time here.

This shows the importance of reaching out to influencers when engaging in a hashtag marketing campaign and getting them to tweet multiple times.

What lessons can marketers take away from Coke’s #SharaCoke campaign?

  1. Track every campaign you run on social media, even if some might seem like they don’t have direct links to sales. There’s always a link to economic value. Measurement tools like Keyhole can help
  2. Target influencers who generate the most contextual follower engagement (We’ll write a post on how to use this Keyhole feature to 2x your Twitter ad engagement rates so keep an eye on the Keyhole blog)
  3. Get influencers to Tweet multiple times throughout the campaign to reach a majority of their followers

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Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free and search your brand below: 

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