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How Coke and Pepsi compare when it comes to social media

2 weeks ago by Jared Russo in Markets

UBS picked twenty companies for their 2020 "Highest Conviction Calls," and some of them seemed like very obvious choices. One of those no-brainer stock picks is Coca-Cola ($NYSE:KO), one of the few recognizable brands that is so universal that citizens of rural Tibet are likely to know the name.

“We like [Coke] for stable earnings growth to ride out defensive times,” UBS director for consumer staples Sean King wrote in the note dated Dec. 19, 2019, adding that factors like its recent M&A and improvement in its sparkling beverage portfolio “position [Coke] to deliver on growth targets.”

UBS analysts said in their note that they felt Coca-Cola is better positioned than its primary competitor and blood rival Pepsi ($NASDAQ:PEP), thanks in part to its “agility in driving innovation” and scaling its Costa Coffee deal into the organization. But what we wanted to look at today is not what we've previously written about (job listings, stock price, employee count, etc.) but rather the impact of Coke on all of social media.

Not only does the consumer-facing Coke Twitter account have millions of followers, but the corporate Coca-Cola Company account also has more than a million fans. We're also going to throw in the Pepsi brands as well, just to give you a sense of how the numbers look across the board. Coke is always the winner in these comparisons, by the way, so spoilers for the rest of the charts and anything else you look at when you buy a demo of Thinknum's data.

The most staggering contrast is in Facebook likes, where Coke has a monolithic 107 million fans compared to Pepsi's 37.7 million. The Coca-Cola Company corporate page also has a million-plus, where Pepsi cannot claim to have the same strength of people being interested in their business fan page. 

Costa Coffee is doing well for itself! Look at them go. Anyways, Coke almost doubles Pepsi on Instagram, which is the main takeaway from this article. The trends we see online indicate that Coke is roughly twice as "cool" and "vintage" as Pepsi products, so no matter what Mountain Dew flavors are released, it's just not the same as Coca-Cola. There was an episode of Mad Men about this very thing, if you needed more proof.

And finally, the Chinese platform Weibo shows that followers of Coke are only going up, whereas we could not find data on Pepsi. That says it all, doesn't it?

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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Jared Russo

Jared is an editor for Thinknum, and has been writing for more than a decade. He previously worked at AOL, Vice, Google, Dotdash, and Sirius XM.

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