I’m sure Fitbit is not an unfamiliar brand name to all of us. Nevertheless, here’s some background on its beginnings.
Fitbit’s first fitness tracking device prototype was created in 2007 by Eric Friedman and James Park which simply started as a wearable product that influences users to become fitter. Initially, the product innovation was lost in the noise due to the lack of brand equity. Within 2 years, they have successfully commercialized the fitness wristbands which allow users to monitor and track their physical activities based on steps took, heart rate, calories burned and other sophisticated functions with the launch of newer models. It also offers many features in their app and information on their website that aids in changing users’ habits to live a healthier lifestyle.
Facing major competitors like Jawbone, Nike FuelBand, Garmin, Microsoft band and so on, how can Fitbit stay ahead of the competition?
How has Fitbit used its social media platforms to expand and engage their brand community effectively?
How can Fitbit further leverage on these platforms to capture the evolving trends of their target audience.
Social Media Insights
Data collection is held over the period of 18 – 31 March. In all, Fitbit is most active on Facebook with the most engagement garnered. Second on the list is Instagram and the least is on YouTube.Most campaigns are published on Fitbit’s blog and shared only on Facebook. Through the social media platform analysis, a gap in Fitbit’s usage of YouTube is uncovered. Hence, Fitbit can harness on this gap on YouTube platform to generate original content to form an IMC campaign.
Overall, Fitbit is a strong competitor in the industry and have established a sturdy social media structure. The recommendations of #FitMe2Bits and #FeedMeFit partnership with nutritional tools will achieve the goal of to expanding and engaging their brand community effectively. These strategies will also capture the evolving trends of Fitbit’s target audience.
According to the National Restaurant Association, the growth of the restaurant industry has tremendous growth potential and just in 2014 alone, the restaurant-industry sales are projected to total $683.4 billion from the previous $586.7. Restaurants are an essential part of people’s life with 9 out of 10 consumers stating that they enjoy going to restaurants (National Restaurant Industry, 2015).
With Yum! Brand being the world’s largest restaurant companies, this report seeks to focus on how KFC, one of their major licensed brand, could leverage on the other two major brands: Pizza Hut and Taco Bell to further strengthen and bring Yum! Brands to greater heights.
KFC Corporation was founded in 1929 by Colonel Harland Sanders whom started with demonstrations with pressure cookers. Never did he realize that his trial and error with chickens and herbs with pressure cookers would led him to the famous Colonel secret recipe now used in all KFC stores. KFC then expanded exponentially via franchising and currently includes more than 15,000 restaurants in more than 120 countries (Houston, 2016). In Singapore alone, KFC currently has 76 outlets all over the different parts of Singapore
According to their Annual Report in 2014, KFC’s franchising business model is proven to be incredibly strong, having double digits operating profit growth. KFC even set a new record for their international development by opening nearly 670 international units in 2014 (Brand, 2016).
With Yum! Brand being the world’s largest restaurant companies and KFC being one of the major licensed brands by operating profit (29%), it would be significant to analyse KFC’s social media strategies and how can KFC leverage on the other two major brands: Pizza Hut and Taco Bell to further strengthen and bring Yum! Brands to greater heights.
Social Media Analysis
Three main KFC social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram & Twitter (Fig. 3) will be analysed from 25 March to 8-April (2 weeks) to observe KFC’s frequency in posting, popularity among followers as well as the effectiveness towards their main goals of product customization, innovation and customer engagement (Brand, Yum! Brand Annual Report, 2016).
Interestingly, KFC’s content strategy in all three platforms do not vary much and most of their post in three different platforms are the same. However, as the amount of users present in each platform varies, their likes and shares for the same post on the various social media platform varies as well.
Overall Marketing Strategy
2 weeks of data collection and observation of KFC’s content strategy in social media, observations were made towards KFC’s content strategy via social media. KFC’s main content strategy is the promotion of their unique chicken series via family feast promotions. KFC makes use of high quality marketing and images to lure customers to try out their newly launched products.
KFC’s average rate of posting is around 1.06 post/day and the average number of likes varies across different platforms. On Instagram, the average number of likes is 163, for Facebook, 155 likes while twitter only at 13 likes (Fig 4). Despite KFC having huge amount of followers across the different platforms, it appeared that KFC might not be hitting their goal of customer’s engagement.
After analysing KFC’s main social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram as well as their Twitter account, it appears that the public is more inclined towards two main segments of KFC’s postings. Firstly, the new chicken series and secondly, their breakfast series.
Looking at their new products launched almost every 2 months, Parmesan Chicken, Yang Yeum Chicken, Shoyuzu Chicken and Red Hot Chicken, it can be observed that KFC’s followers on their social media have high tendency to comment more on newly launched products as well as tagging their friends to inform them about the new launch. The engagement rate of newly launch products are much higher than other posts relating to Breakfast menu or other regular menu items. Comments such as “Favourite chicken so far”, “Bring this back” are seen across all their unique products. This gives KFC a sense of the public’s acceptance towards their newly launched products and how they should further engage their loyal customers.
Summary of main findings
Analysing KFC’s social media platforms, KFC’s social media strategy of using pictures to lure customers in trying out their new products is good and feasible, however what they are lacking is customers’ engagement as well as creative marketing promotions.
KFC lacks ongoing conversations with customers and most of their posts are one-directional without much engagement with customers.
Proposed Social Media Campaign
Looking at the high popularity for new launched products, KFC can invite customers to co-create the new product together. In this proposed social media campaign, the target market will be on customers who are open to experiences and active on social media.
KFC will be uploading a post on recent hot topics and allowing customers to provide suggestions on “what flavour of chicken does this remind you of?”
This campaign #KFCislistening hopes to garner more suggestions and ideas from loyal customers in terms of their creative chicken flavours. Since KFC’s target customers are teenagers and young adults, by posting hot topics such as the recent Korean Drama “Descendants of the Sun” it will definitely garner huge attention from the public. New flavours such as “Korean snowing chicken or even Korean
Furthermore, KFC’s discounts and promotions has always been a great marketing strategy for them to attract loyal customers, this campaign aims to attract customers by providing them with $100 vouchers for the most creative chicken flavour. Furthermore, the new flavour will be launched the following week and will last about a week. New flavours such as “Korean snowing chicken” or even “Korean spicy chicken” can be considered.
With this campaign, it will definitely attract a lot of attention from people who watched this drama before and most importantly, it will be able to attract loyal as well as new customers sparked by the curiosity of the latest drama and KFC’s new marketing campaign. Apart from that, hot topics other than dramas are posted every week.
However, one of the foreseeable obstacle is that people might not be receptive towards certain new products or some may comment irrelevant comments on the post diluting the focus of the marketing campaign. Furthermore, some may even doubt and complain about the fairness of results. Hence KFC has to be transparent in terms of their criteria as well as transparent in the posting of results.
The US chocolate confectionery is largely dominated by two companies, The Hershey Company and Mars Incorporated, with a market share of 31.2% and 29.2% respectively. Despite both brand owners holding 7 brands of chocolate each, the Mars-owned M&M and Snickers brands have outperformed the Hershey-owned Reese’s and Hershey’s brand in both US and globally.
M&M and Snickers have very distinct brand personalities which its target audiences could identify with. M&M brings its fun and quirky personality to life with its iconic characters and colors while Snickers adopts a teenage-goofball personality with its famous campaign “you’re not you when you’re hungry”
Paling in comparison, Hershey’s has an ambiguous brand personality with the advertising tagline “life is delicious” which cannot win the hearts of people, making this the possible reason why it is not performing as well as M&M and Snickers. As such, this paper shall look into how Hershey’s can enhance its brand personality through better brand engagement on Facebook.
Chocolate is for anyone with a sweet tooth regardless of gender or age. As such, Facebook becomes the ideal platform since it has the most number of active users and the most balanced age distribution of users compared to other social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
Hershey’s has the fastest response time in answering comments and queries compared to Snickers and M&M
M&M and Snickers have many campaign tabs on its Facebook page whereby it engages with its audiences and reward fans
Hershey’s clearly lacks in asking its users questions or holding campaigns to reward them
Hershey’s need to emphasize and communicate the brand personality of being joyous, sincere and warm.
Introduce an elderly couple as its brand ambassador. The old man could be an old soldier that is quirky, humorous, loves puns and love poking fun at current affairs, while the lady could be gentle, loving and loves baking.
As part of the campaign, the couple will have their own Facebook tabs on the Hershey’s Facebook page respectively. For 109 days, a daily Facebook post will feature the characters doing unexpected things including dancing on the street, playing pranks on each other and doing daily activities with a twist.
Users may use the hashtag #Hersheylovinglife to submit their own stories, requests or interesting ideas on how the couple can interact with each other.
Short videos offering sneak peeks of how these two characters plan on surprising each other with the Hershey products.
The Title of my individual research report is –More than just an ice-cream parlour: Building an entire ice-cream community on Facebook
My Research Question is: How can Udders, a home-grown ice-cream parlour of 9 years, utilize Facebook to revitalize their brand and build up their brand community by increasing their current engagement levels?
Analysis of Social media platform: Facebook
Facebook is the chosen platform to be examined across 3 organizations namely, Udders, Sunday Folks and Milkcow. Facebook is more suitable for the target group of Udders, comprising both the young crowd and adults because Facebook has a great API and higher following from both groups of target audience as opposed to Instagram which caters more to the younger crowd.
Data Collection Across Udders, Sunday Folks and Milkcow
Tracking will be done for the 3 organizations’ use of Facebook for a period of 4 weeks starting 1st March- 28th March 2016.
Practical Value of this Research
The purpose of this research is to analyze the organizations’ efforts in engaging their customers on Facebook and if their level of interactivity directly translates to a level of engagement which will contribute to having more involved customers and to building brand loyalty and a brand community. Recommendations will be put in place for the chosen organization (Udders) based on the analysis of its own Facebook usage and that of two other competitors (Sunday Folks and Milkcow).
The summarized findings are found in the table below:
Udders- 16, 453 likes
Sunday Folks- 6, 244 likes
Level of interactivity via A.
Moderate to High level
Low to non-existent
Low to non-existent
Level of Interactivity via B. Posts/ Photos
Moderate level of interactivity
Low to almost non-existent level of interactivity
High level of interactivity
Overall level of interactivity (with more emphasis placed on B. Posts/ Photos due to lack of information for A. Comments Plugin
Moderate to High Level
Feel free to contact me if you are interested in the full version of the data analysis and findings.
Other Significant Findings
Although Milkcow has a low frequency of posting at once every 3 weeks, their visually appealing professional post of the debut of waffles and ice cream garnered 1100 likes and 164 shares. I think that this may be influenced by fans’ prior perceived positive image and brand anticipation of them as they originate from Korea and the photographs of their ice cream looks fun, visually appetizing and are worthy of being shared on social media platforms.
Additionally, it can be observed that Milkcow reposted an article from hypequiva.com on “Top 26 places to have desserts under $9.90” where they were featured as #12. As a result, the article went viral and gained 89 likes and 260 shares. On the other hand, Udders had missed out on the same opportunity to garner more brand awareness by being unaware that they too were being featured in the same article. One should always be on the lookout for reviews about their brand and monitor the social media space for information and reviews.
Proposed Strategy 1-#theUddersStory campaign
#theUddersStory campaign will take place over a period of 4 weeks whereby Udders will publish one video each week with the hashtag #theUddersStory. Each video will be showing behind the scenes unique stories of how selected Udders ice cream flavours were derived.
To kick-start the campaign, the first video will also reveal the campaign details- in which in order for fans to participate, they have to post an interesting/creative perspective of their Udders’ experience along with the hashtag #theUddersStory on Udders Facebook page under Visitor Posts segment. Additionally, anyone is allowed to go onto the Visitor Post segment and vote for their favourite #theUddersStory contributed by other fans.
Each week, the top 3 most creative posts/ stories will be selected and winners will gain the privilege of being the first fans to win a special edition Udders Ice cream membership card. The official launch of a non special-edition Udders membership cards for all other fans will commence once the period of 4 weeks of campaign has ended.
An example of a fan’s contribution could be “Just the udder day, my friends and I did not know where to go. We walked around and suddenly found ourselves in Udders. Just about the most “udderly” awesome decision ever. We will not have it any other way but #theUddersStory way from now on.”
In line with Udders’ aim to be a fun and quirky brand, coupled with their emphasis on employees as brand ambassadors, the second proposed strategy is to encourage employees to generate simple and fun quizzes that can be easily shared on Facebook.
The chosen ones will be published and full credit will be given to the employees who created it. This will allow employees will feel a sense of satisfaction and empowerment in their jobs. In addition, bonus pay can be given to winning entries to encourage employees to participate. A new entry/ quiz with the hashtag #UddersWhiz can be published once every month for 3 months.
The use of visually appealing photos can be used along with the quizzes to increase fans’ desires to tag their friends and share the post. Moreover, and the sharing of relatable and fun quizzes will go viral easily and help Udders gain brand awareness.
An example of quizzes could be “What ice cream flavour are you?” It could contain 5 short personality questions such as:
Your favourite time of the day
A list of hobbies to choose from
Your favourite colours
Your favourite country in the world
Your bad habits
After fans have done in the quiz, results would be generated allowing them to share their results on Facebook. On the last Sunday of each month, the first 100 fans who have done the quiz and achieved a minimum of 50 likes for their quiz results post will get a free cone of choice from one selected Udders outlet. The Udders outlet will vary each month and will be announced 2 days before the last Sunday of each month.
Thank you for your kind attention. I have provided a brief background of Udders Ice cream company below for reference. Don’t wait any longer, Get your Udders Ice cream today!
Background of Udders Ice cream company (Udders)
Udders was founded in 2007 by co-founders David Yim with his wife Wong Peck Li and there are a total of 6 Udders ice cream outlets in Singapore (Udders, 2016). Udders have branded themselves as a fun, innovative and energetic ice cream parlour with a cheeky personality that aim to make customers have a fun, relaxed and happy atmosphere at their parlours (The Columnist, 2013). This can be witnessed in their mission posted on their Facebook page which is “To make people high with our liqueur ice cream :)”. Udders’ specialty is ‘adult-rated’ liqueur ice cream, with names such as Cherry Bomb, Lychee Martini and Rum Rum Raisin.
Maybe some of you may have heard of Zalora, or even are loyal customers to them. Zalora is an online fashion retailer in Asia-Pacific region, including Singapore. Basically, we are able to shop and purchase fashion items from Zalora online and have them delivered to us. Zalora has seen a rapid growth, as much as 70% increase in their sales revenue in one year! BUT, unfortunately the company suffered EUR 80 million in the same year as well. Why is this so? Because, as much as the sales revenue increased, it did not match up the sales forecast of the company. Hence, the company is “growing” faster (in terms of spending money to expand itself) than it can generate profits. Part of the reason of the slow growth can be attributed from the fact that there is a lack of brand awareness here in Singapore! (as mentioned by Zalora themself in their annual reports)
Hence, this brings me to my research question:
How can Zalora effectively use social media to increase brand awareness in Singapore?
Analysis of social media
So for my paper, I’ve identified Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to do my analysis on.
Zalora have quite a large number of followers on Facebook, with 171,000 likes on their Singapore page. Having such a large number will allow Zalora to potentially engage the large consumer base with the brand. However, the interaction on Facebook is VERY low. They have over 170 thousand followers, but on average, their posts have less than 10 likes and comments. (legit, go check out their page)
Their Instagram have about 26,100 followers and over 2,600 posts. The level engagement on Instagram is slightly better. This could be because, unlike Facebook, they actually post curated content on Instagram. This would better enable their audience to relate to the content. On Instagram, they reached out to influencers such as Joakim Gomez, 987FM DJ and producer, and several few smaller fashion bloggers. This is good because the influencers’ reach is actually larger than Zalora’s. (for eg. the same picture posted by Zalora and Gomez, but Gomez picture have over 3x more than Zalora) However again, engagement level is still low on Instagram. On average, every post have only about 0 to 3 comments.
Zalora’s Twitter have about 6,800 followers and over 16 thousand tweets.
Out of the 16,000 tweets, about…. 95% is replies to their customers. And majority of these replies are pretty much customer services. Customers post a question (more often a complain) on Twitter and tag @Zalorasingapore, and Zalora very actively replies to these tweets promptly! This is good because a lot of customers actually receive prompt assistance via Twitter. However, that’s all about what their Twitter is doing. Mainly, it is just a customer service platform. Out of the 6 weeks of analysis, they only posted 10 non-replies tweet, thats on average 1 to 2 tweet a day. That definitely will not engage its audience at all.
But Twitter have a lot of potential to increase brand awareness for Zalora. Generated from Synthesio, Twitter is the social media platform with the most social media activity of Zalora. But why then is their follower count so low? Further analysis revealed that most of the Zalora mentions on Twitter, are by users who are NOT following Zalora currently.
Out of all 3 platforms, it seems that Twitter is currently the platform that is weakest in social media marketing, and hence holds the highest potential. I will also recommend minor strategy for Facebook and Instagram as well.
A two pronged approach is taken here.
Short aim: Increase number of followers on Twitter account
Long aim: Increases brand awareness and engagement among its customer
In the short run, Twitter should use influencers to quickly and greatly increase its account awareness. So for example, they can get Gomez to also start promoting for them on Twitter. Also, Zalora should make use of Twitter’s promoted post service and get their account known to those active Twitter users who are talking about Zalora, but are not following them.
In the long run, I recommend Zalora to transform their Twitter from a “customer service platform” into a “fashion platform”. The main issue on Twitter is the lack of new content. By introducing #ZaloraInspire, Zalora can post about 8 pictures daily, and these pictures will feature people wearing Zalora’s apparels. This fashion platform will be a platform where their audience and customers will be able to engage themselves by viewing the pictures for inspiration on what new outfit to wear or buy.
Their Facebook have a large number of followers, and I think Zalora should take advantage of it. In the analysis, it was observed that ‘give away’ posts seen a significant increase in their user engagement (everyone want the free stuff, haha). Hence, I recommend Facebook to have a ‘share cap’ for their give-away post. For example, before Zalora issue out a $20 e-voucher to everyone, the particular post have to be shared a total of 5,000 times. As more users share the post on their Facebook wall, Zalora will be able to tap on each individual’s network and increase its brand awareness.
We established that people like free stuff, so similarly in Instagram, I recommend Zalora to kick start with their ZaloraAwards initiative. This ZaloraAwards is an on-going competition where users send in their picture with them wearing Zalora’s apparels. Zalora then will determine a winner, and post their picture on their social media accounts. Winners not only get a monetary incentive, but also recognition. UGC posted by Zalora will also gain the trust and engagement of the users.
So these are my three recommendations for Zalora! They are pretty much summarised in this post, so some details may be left out. Please feel free to give me your opinions regarding them, or ask any questions!
I assume that my post today will be read more intently by the female population of Prof Shim’s two SMS classes, given that it centers on an industry most of us girls should be rather intrigued with – the wedding gown retail industry. Granted, most of us do not have any need for a gown as of yet, but I’m sure you’ll find my research interesting and informative in the future when you eventually embark on the search for your dream dress 🙂 I hope you’re excited to read on, as lots of gorgeous dresses are set to follow.
Source: Google Images
In my project, I chose to focus on the Social Media platform Instagram and its use as a marketing and communications tool for the wedding gown retail industry. For comparative bench-marking purposes, I bought in 3 retailers which have similar business activities in the industry value chain (namely bespoke designing, manufacturing and retailing) and geographical scope (their client bases mostly originate from Singapore).
They are: Jessicacindy, Time Taken to Make a Dress and Le Grand Wedding (JC, TTMD and LGW for short respectively).
Source: Google Images
To provide some background, all three pride themselves on bespoke gown designs and their strengths differ to some extent. LGW focuses on bringing in the latest international style trends, JC focuses on soft, ethereal designs and customer service and TTMD leverages on its technical skills to provide gowns catered specifically for each bride, as opposed to following fads.
The brand of focus would be LGW and my strategies are largely aimed at improving its performance on Instagram given its ailing number of likes and followers, and consequently, the low “talk rate” for each of its postings.
My research question is thus: What kind of content on Instagram can garner the greatest brand engagement for the wedding gown retailer industry in Singapore, and specifically for “Le Grand Wedding”? Before we delve into the strategies, let’s take a closer look at the special characteristics of Instagram and how this social media platform lends itself to my focal industry.
Did you know? #1: 30% of Instagram users buy items after viewing them on their Instagram feeds (Hobbs, 2015)
The visual appeal of content on Instagram works best for industries with heavy focus on their products’ appearance
Brand identity results from careful curation of posts and followers follow a brand out of “brand love”, which makes for a smoother transition to purchase intention
Did you know? #2: Instagram has delivered 58 and 120 times higher brand engagement relative to Facebook and Twitter respectively (Marshall J., 2014)
A major differentiator for Instagram is that brands’ presence is welcomed (Most on Facebook would see this as brand intrusion!)
Instagram’s user base skews towards young females, who are the most receptive to brand involvement and communication
Did you know? #3: The direct messaging feature on Instagram could aid in the cultivation of a brand community
Brides worldwide use the opinions of virtual community members for consumption sharing and emotional support (Nelson & Otnes, 2005)
DM function allows brides-to-be to ask previous brides about their experiences. If gown retailers can identify previous clients as brand ambassadors, the possibilities of their reach could be immense
VALUE OF RESEARCH
I aim to uncover the different facets of successful Instagram content to garner stronger customer engagement rates for LGW. The results can also be extrapolated for the greater Singapore wedding industry on the whole. Little research so far means that unguided retailers often post overly-generic content which get lost in the mass of feeds!
METHODOLOGY AND FINDINGS
Analysis of the commonalities and differences of the 3 brands’ Instagram image content, type, frequency, caption type and style etc were examined over 3 weeks of tracking to distill the following findings: relative to JC and TTMD, LGW on Instagram suffers from:
Irregular posting frequency
Irrelevant content from sister brand (Z-wedding) and other wedding-related vendors (e.g.: wedding table settings and wedding heels)
Lack of personal touch – no brides featured and their bespoke service is rarely mentioned
Lack of audience-initiated conversations
Large-scale events were held with celebrities in attendance but full potential on social media is not realized
Hence, I came up with a couple of suggestions to highlight LGW’s strengths and am of the opinion that they should go back to their roots of embodying Bespoke Luxury Couture.
To emphasize that their service is top-notch and customized:
Create short time-lapse insta-videos showcasing the personal touches they add on each gown for individual brides, highlighting these details in the captions. These can be done via Hyperlapse, which was created by Instagram, Inc.
Ask for customer feedback on Instagram. Feedback could pertain to theme suggestions for their biannual runway events with the best suggestion rewarded with free entry into their exclusive runway shows
To increase organic and inorganic reach:
Formulate a content calendar to regulate posting frequency and maintain an active presence
Have an easily recognizable trademark photo-taking backdrop in-house, where brides can take a photo after fittings. Brides are encouraged to post their pictures with the hashtag #legrandjourney
Source: Google Images
Collaborate with other wedding vendors for special shoots (think: wedding jewelry, cakes, venues) and get featured on their Instagram accounts. For instance:
To launch a forum to foster a brand community:
Leverage on their existing network of A-listers who attend their events – get a celebrity who is about to get married to be their brand ambassador and announce LGW’s new online forum and also any subsequent events
As you might be able to tell, I had lots of fun thinking up all these strategies because I got the chance to put myself in the shoes of a bride on the lookout for her dress and thinking “What might appeal to me if I were shopping around for a bespoke gown?…”. So, that’s all I have for today and for everyone who’s read thus far, I hope this gave some insight into the world of wedding gowns and thank you for the time!
Founded in January 1888, The National Geographic Society is a “global non-profit organization committed to exploring and protecting the planet” (National Geographic Society, n.d.). The society sponsors and funds research and conservation projects as well as provides grants through their various educational initiatives. The society also publishes written materials and journals, with the National Geographic Magazine as their most notable and successful publication.
Catching on with the advancement of technology in the 21st century, National Geographic has also expanded its reach to social media. Not only have they been able to maintain their success in the sector of print publication, they are also one of the most successful and most engaging publishers of online social media content, rivalling Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.
How can National Geographic maintain its leadership in the social media sphere; and
How can National Geographic further increase user engagement
Social Media Analysis
For this report, I tracked data on activities of National Geographic across its three main platforms – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – over a two-week period to investigate how the posts and strategies vary depending on the platform. As of April 2016, National Geographic has over 99.1 million followers across all three of its platforms, with Instagram garnering the most followers (47.7 million) and largely contributing to its success in social media.
No. of followers: 40,115,365
Frequency of posts: Average of 8 posts per day
Average no. of shares & likes per post: Average of 23, 317 shares, 154 likes per post
No. of followers: 11.3 million
Frequency of posts: Average of 15.25 tweets per day
No. of followers: 47.7 million
Frequency of posts: Average of 8.6 posts per day
To increase consumer engagement and brand awareness, National Geographic can create informative original content for their Snapchat platform. With the increase in millenials travelling and exploring the world, and going on expeditions on their own instead of with commercial tour groups (Machado, 2014), this function on Snapchat’s Discover will give them tips and information about the places they travel to. By employing this form of native advertising, as well as the interactive nature of Snapchat’s functions, National Geographic will be able to increase their brand recognition and brand awareness. It will also make the National Geographic brand synonymous with ‘travel’ and help them expand their National Geographic Travel subsidiary.
Grab is a mobile app that links transport options to passengers and these transport options range from regular taxis, private cars to larger vehicles with bigger seating capacity. It is present in many Southeast Asian countires and developed from a simple taxi booking app in Malaysia to a regional mainstay. In 2014, Grab launched its app in Singapore. Its very form as an app makes it necessary for the company to be savvy, especially on social media. This has to do with the demographic of people who are technologically savvy enough to employ the use of this app. Grab’s main competitor is Uber, an American company with an app that essentially has the same function and purpose. Grab has developed in a similar manner as Uber but its localisation has allowed it to take a significant chunk of the market share from Uber.
How has Grab capitalised on their competitive edge as a more relatable brand with a localised presence in relation to their nearest competitor, Uber via their online presence?
Social Media Presence & Analysis
Grab has a rather uniform presence in terms of content across all 3 platforms. While their content on Facebook is not entirely uninteresting, ambient noise from complaints and random enquiries dilute the message impact. On Instagram and Twitter, the content is identical, just tailored to different platforms. The engagement is largely confined to complaints and queries. Often, pertinent questions go unanswered and this goes to show a lack of training and perhaps even protocol in dealing with social media.
Objective 1: Create an online brand community through sustained engagement and interaction.
Objective 2: Create organic brand ambassadors through humanising brand identity.
To address the flooding of posts with comments on bad experiences or enquiries, Grab should dedicate an in-app system of automating FAQ answers and providing feedback. Most importantly, the time-sensitivity of certain issues may necessitate speaking to a representative of the company. This can be in the form of an in-app live chat or hotline. This then frees up space on their Facebook wall and does not threaten to derail any messages that Grab is attempting to convey to its consumers.
Diversification of Online Content
In partnership with celebrity food bloggers, Grab can come up with a campaign that engages users to share their favourite food haunts and perhaps even use the app algorithm to schedule Grab ride-sharing for those who would like to try the food that users have recommended. This adds an additional dimension of personality to the brand and contributes towards the creation of a brand community crowded around a common interest.
Building on Existing Strategy
Currently, Grab has embarked on a #herestoourdrivers campaign whereby they feature Grab partners and their unique quirks in the car the operate out of. What is great about this strategy is that it gives a personal and human touch to the brand. What is problematic, however, is that some of the recent features do not have faces to them. It is important that the drivers they feature are humanised rather than just textual description. Next, the voting competition on their Facebook page that started on 13 Apr 2016 is a short term and myopic strategy to encourage interaction with the brand. Beyond this competition, there is no value-add to the relationship between consumer and brand. Instead, they should focus on making consumers organic brand ambassadors through using their partners’ service to win over consumers. This can be done through an extensive employee training programme where every one from drivers to front and back office staff go through a service standard training so that the level of service that Grab claims to offer can be matched and consistent.
In the observation period, it is clear to see that the social media performance is less than satisfactory. Moreover, the exploitation of their localised brand identity is incomplete and poorly sustained. However, it is encouraging to see that Grab has recognised their competitive advantage as a brand ‘closer to home’ and has begun to go about taking advantage of this unique position. In order to fully leverage their unique identity, Grab has to take a multi pronged approach in addressing the poor engagement and interaction levels as well as to build on their position as a localised service. In the future, it will be meaningful to research the effect that such marketing has on brand equity and establishment of a brand community.
Please find here the summary of my research on the fast-fashion industry in the context on Facebook.
The research question focus on the relation between the fast-fashion industry culture and strategy and its presence on Facebook and how a fast-fashion company can engage effectively its customers through Facebook to compete against its competitors.
Analysis & Findings:
Zara uses Facebook mainly to post pictures of its clothing collection. We can describe Zara as an occasional to rare poster on Facebook. Because of its very low usage frequency of its page, Zara fails to engage its customers. The consequence is that customers do not participate and react to its posts even if the brand has a great number of fans online. The variety of posts is extremely poor also and disengage even more the attention of its customers.
The brand is able to post regularly on its pages and the usage of sub-pages dedicated to countries in particularly helps H&M to mobilize its customers’ attention. Thanks to the frequency of its posts, the brand can communicate efficiently what are the new trends and the new products in local stores as on the online store. Thanks to this usages of the sub-pages H&M is also able to target more precisely its customers per country and address special content to each category.
Mango’s Facebook page is mainly used to post pictures of its products, videos of photo shootings or events organized and links to the online store for its products. Mango has a clear advantage on its competitors: thanks to the frequency as the variety of its posts, it can engage a larger part of its Facebook fans, even if the brand counts less fans in total.
A first strategy for Zara to better engage its customers would be to create sub-pages per country as H&M has done. The goal of this strategy is to create a better dialogue with its customers thanks to relevant posts targeting precisely them and to avoid general messages which cannot reach any target as it is the case actually
A second strategy Zara can learn from its competitors is to post interesting content regularly on its Facebook page. This strategy is closely related with the first one as the content will need to be targeted to customers for each sub-page. Moreover, as Zara business strategy is to respond quickly to its customers’ demand thanks to its efficient supply chain, its presence online should reflect that strength of delivering new products quickly by posting shootings and videos to present these new products to its customers.
A strategy would be to create a dialogue between stylists of Zara and its customers. Each week a new stylist from Zara will share its tips with the fans. Stylists will provide tips on the Facebook pages concerning the way to mix different garments, which garments to select in order to fit to each morphology… Zara could moderate the dialogue between the stylists and its customers, and between customers themselves.
Finally, Zara could create contests on its Facebook page. The aim of the contest is to share pictures, on the Zara’s page, of customers wearing Zara’s products and obtain the maximum of likes from then Facebook population. These contests should empower fans to become brand ambassadors
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics was officially founded in 1995 in Poole, United Kingdom. In the early 80s, some of the founders of LUSH (operating under the company Constantine and Weir) were The Body Shop’s biggest suppliers. LUSH now has stores in over 50 countries with 4 stores in Singapore.
LUSH sells handmade bath and body products that are made using fresh, vegetarian ingredients with little or no preservative or packaging and without animal testing. LUSH practices ethical buying with all their ingredients, and prides itself on providing excellent customer service at every part of the business.
A noteworthy aspect of LUSH is that it does not advertise in the traditional sense; instead it has always been focused on word of mouth marketing. However, with the rise of social media, it has embraced the importance of the platform, reaching out to customers and communicating its brand story.
How can LUSH can use social media to communicate its unique company culture and build its reputation as a socially responsible company?
LUSH has the most following on its Facebook and Instagram page, while very low following on Twitter and YouTube. They are also currently mainly focused on their Instagram page, where they post an average of 4.33 posts per week (they post an average of 2 posts a week on Facebook).
Engagement with followers on their social media is low, where most comments and questions are not replied, and many that are replied are not done so in a particularly helpful manner, as they ask customer to email in instead.
Content on their social media pages has been more marketing focused, and during the period tracked, posts by the pages have been mainly product-related (specifically to the newly launched Easter products), or related to the reopening of their flagship store at Wisma Atria.
One weakness thus is that the brand does not communicate many of its ethical features that make it a socially responsible brand and make it distinct from its competitors. For instance, the fact that its Easter collection is made of 100% vegan ingredients and that the glitter used in the Easter products is entirely plastic free and biodegradable (thus not harming marine life) is not mentioned on its social media. Also, as discussed above, the brand lacks in user engagement, as it does not reply to a majority of comments and questions received.
With the aim of informing customers about LUSH’s efforts to reduce packaging and increase its pool of brand ambassadors, LUSH can have a week-long Instagram contest where customers can be encouraged to post content of how they have reused LUSH’s iconic “black pots” (such as for storage and as plant holders). To incentivize contribution, the 5 participants with the most creative ideas will win a gift set from LUSH. LUSH can also share the most creative ideas on its on Instagram page, thus rewarding these participants as well.
#lushtime and #MeetTheTeamMonday
With the aim of communicating its focus on excellent customer service, LUSH can also create films for its YouTube channel that demonstrate the type of service that can be received in stores. These films can be about three to five minutes long, published twice a month and shared on its Facebook page with the hashtag #lushtime as well. As identified above, there is currently low engagement on LUSH’s Facebook page, and this content would serve to increase conversations on the page. Facebook also allows easy sharing of YouTube content, and this strategy would attract more subscribers to their YouTube page.
One example of a video would be a shop tour, where a member of staff shows a customer around the store and provides pampering demonstrations of some products on the customer’s skin. As LUSH has recently reopened its flagship store at Wisma Atria, this would serve to introduce customers around the newly renovated store as well. Another example would be a video of a member of staff providing a customer with a skincare consultation and providing the customer with a pampering facial massage.
Another proposed strategy is for LUSH to incorporate its employees into its social media content strategy. Every Monday on its Instagram page, LUSH can feature an employee with their favourite LUSH product, with the hashtag #MeetTheTeamMonday. This would have the result of communicating that lush staff are friendly, relatable and passionate about the brand, and increasing their reputation of providing excellent customer service.
LUSH’s values, ethics, practices and company culture indeed sets them apart from their competitors. With the proposed strategies, it is hoped that LUSH will be able to utilize their social media platforms to better establish itself in Singapore as a socially responsible company that provides excellent customer service.