Here is a summary of my social media project on local dessert brands in Singapore.
- Overview and Research Question
The importance of Instagram for food brands and businesses cannot be overstated. We prefer visuals to text and we want pictures that showcase the brand’s purpose and philosophy, not just an advertisement. We also want to be able to scroll quickly and uncover new content, to be a part of the Instagram community. While most research on the value of Instagram for businesses focuses on large brands and MNCs, I am more interested in finding out: what is the value of Instagram for homegrown businesses looking to build awareness, engagement and a community of followers?
A significant portion of the Food & Beverages (F&B) industry in Singapore is made up of Singapore-based dessert chains and cafes that are founded and managed by local entrepreneurs. I have chosen three well-known local dessert businesses pioneered by Singapore entrepreneurs, with mainly ice cream and yogurt offerings. They are Creamier, Sogurt and Yoguru.
2. Data Analysis
To analyse the Instagram performance of the three sources, I tracked the (1) number of followers, (2) total engagement (as a percentage of followers) and (3) frequency and volume of posts. I also conducted a simple survey to assess target audience user motivations and behaviours in general, and when following local dessert brands on Instagram.
Based on my analysis, Yoguru is lacking in its Instagram efforts as compared to the other two sources.
(1) Communicating necessary information (eg. introducing new flavours and toppings, promotions, announcing recruitment activities once in a while)
(2) Announcing partnerships and sponsorships of sports and lifestyle events, in line with the healthy lifestyle image it wants to associate itself with
What needs to improve:
(1) Failure to update its Instagram feed regularly means insufficient content to keep followers continually engaged, leading to low awareness and engagement
(2) Lack of incentive for followers to like or comment on posts mainly because of the absence of follow-up action and minimal opportunities to participate in brand conversations. Based on the survey conducted, the top two reasons for not following Yoguru on instagram are (1) unaware of its presence on Instagram (2) no incentive or motivation to engage
(3) Absence of social media persona – Creamier is all about heritage and craftsmanship, while Sogurt is about fun, joy, friendship, and adopts a conversational and personable style. However, Yoguru does not have a clearly defined social media style that is authentic and attractive to its followers.
3. Proposed Strategies
(1) Capturing #YoguruMoments
Having hashtag contests would encourage lots of user-generated content from consumers. Instead of feeling as though they are targets of the brand’s advertising efforts, they are given opportunities to participate in the conversation and are valued co-creators of the brand’s social media image. The message is that Yoguru can be enjoyed with anyone, anywhere and anytime, regardless of the occasion. It is more than just the product, it is about the experiences that consumers have with the brand and Yoguru wants to share and celebrate these moments with them. Moreover, these are personalised user stories that are real and shareable.
(2) Influencer collaborations
In contrast to promoting the product, Yoguru can also advocate the healthy living lifestyle by collaborating with health and fitness social media influencers on Instagram. This increases the association of the brand with healthy and active lifestyle, which is in line with the image it aims to promote. These collaborations can come in the form of mini contests, whereby influencers can invite followers to share about their tips and experiences with committing to an active lifestyle. They can handpick lucky winners to join them in an exclusive yoga session for instance, whereby Yoguru will be the official sponsor of the session. This allows Yoguru to leverage on the reach, influence and fan following of these Instagrammers.
In summary, Instagram provides the perfect platform for brands to interact with consumers through user-generated content that is real and shareable, as well as for brands to tap on the influence, network and reach of Instagrammers to get even closer to their consumers. With Instagram, smaller homegrown businesses such as local dessert chains are able to create deeper and more personalised relationships with its consumers, translating into a community of followers that are motivated to associate themselves with the business in the long run.
Thank you for reading!