ATLANTA, GA: Coca-Cola, the soft drinks giant, is consolidating its social media operations for all its brands in a move aimed at improving quality and harnessing creative insights.

The company has established the North American Social Center, a real-time "newsroom" staffed by 55 people, including in-house marketers from Coca-Cola and digital agency executives, who monitor social media activity and devise content for marketing and engagement.

"We are continuously looking for new and innovative ways to connect people with our brands. We recently adopted a global Coca-Cola system approach to how we plan, create and execute real-time social media marketing in the US," Coca-Cola told The Drum.

"With our agency partners, we are growing our social media expertise in-house and centralising operations."

Agency professionals from Possible, Havas and Publicis-owned Moxie are working alongside Coke's own social media marketers and are reported to be using an "empathy model" that has been developed by Possible, the agency which has taken the lead on strategy.

According to The Drum, the initiative is "less a shift in the traditional agency model and more a course correction to how things should function as brands reach social media maturity".

It is understood that Coke's centralised team has been testing consumer emotions around trending events, such as the death of singer David Bowie earlier this year, and reaction to the Summer Olympics in Brazil.

It emerged that creative content, based on insights into the way social media users felt about the Rio Games, was 26% more likely to be shared or viewed.

Commenting on Coke's new operation, James Lachno, Editorial Director at M&C Saatchi in London, said it showed how agencies and brands, by working closely together in real time, can achieve the best results.

"The platform and execution expertise from dedicated social media managers is invaluable, as is the objective eye they provide," he said. "Otherwise brands could trip up on promoting what they want, not what their audience does. This push and pull is likely to remain key to the best, timely, targeted social content being produced by Coke."

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff