The aim of this report is to answer the following research questions: How effectively is Facebook used as a customer relationship management tool for shopping goods such as personal care products? Indeed, the analysis of the Facebook profile of The Body Shop, Yves Rocher and Rituals lead to the alarming issue that the admins of these pages, especially of The Body Shop, do not answer negative feedback, though they can have a serious impact for the brand. These key findings led to two distinct suggestions, the first having as objective to increase the brand’s involvement with its customers and the second providing a guideline of how to deal with negative feedback. The overall objective of this report is to create better customer relationship management since this leads to higher engagement with the brand which in turn leads to stronger loyalty, reduced competitive threat, greater advocacy and increased opportunity for sales.
I chose to focus on Facebook as my social media platform for my individual project. The 3 companies that I analyzed are AirAsia, Scoot and Tigerair.
The airlines industry has rapidly expanded especially with the introduction of low-cost carriers (LCCs). The lower cost of flying via LCCs has enabled many more people to travel abroad and increased air travel globally. The value of this project is that the brand who is able to build a strong relationship with its consumers through social media, will be able to retain and foster brand loyalty amongst its consumers.
My 2 research questions for the project are:
- How can Tigerair utilize Facebook to engage better with its customers and build a brand community.
- What should Tigerair avoid communicating on Facebook in order to maintain a positive brand reputation on Facebook.
Analysis & Findings:
- Use of hashtags
Hashtags are a great way for a brand to build brand community and increase brand salience for themselves. AirAsia is one of the brands that effectively uses #FlyWithAirAsia to get passengers who travel with them to post photos of their travels with this hashtag. These passengers act as brand advocates the moment they use #FlyWithAirAsia and help promote the brand in their own social networks.
- Rules of engagement on social media
All 3 airline companies faced a common problem that could be observed easily on their Facebook pages. The problem was that they all faced disgruntled customers who had an unpleasant experience using their service. This was apparent as every other post that you see would have an angry comment from a passenger. However, the way in which the airlines companies engage with their customer care was not tactfully done. AirAsia was the only airline that attempted to redirect the issues to a separate page to prevent the overexposure of the issues.
Tigerair should develop their own personal hashtag strategy that their passengers can use for their social media post. I recommend using the #TigerSquad for passengers who travel via Tigerair. Tigerair can also utilize user-generated content by reposting amazing pictures of destinations or travels from their passengers.
- 360° videos
Tigerair can create more engaging content by using 360° videos of the amazing travel destinations that they fly too. In this way, they are able to showcase the attractiveness of the destination and garner interest from its audience to book a flight for a vacation at these destinations. These 360° videos should showcase the landmark places of a particular destination, such as Singapore – Sentosa, Cambodia – Angkor Wat, Philippines – Boracay.
- Dedicated customer care site
With disgruntled customers sharing their horror stories of lost baggage and other ticketing issues, it is imperative that we take these issues to a separate platform. The last strategy would be to develop a dedicated customer care site that allows the customer to fill in the details of their dissatisfied service and engage with a customer care officer. This would attempt to reduce the outbreak of angry customers posting on Facebook demanding for refunds and tarnishing the reputation of the airline.
That’s all for a summary of my individual project! Thank you for taking the time to read and enjoy your summer break!
How Can Osmose Leverage on Instagram’s Strengths to Improve its Level of Customer Engagement on Instagram so as to Successfully Compete With the Other Online Fashion Retailers in Singapore?
Brief Information on Companies Analysed
MDS, Love, Bonito (LB), and Osmose are online fashion retailers offering apparels that balance both style and affordability to meet the needs of young women in Singapore. While all three retailers offer similar style of clothes that are fall within the same price range, they differ in their levels of customer engagement on Instagram, in terms of likes and comments garnered from each post. LB is the leader among the three companies, with 89.5 thousand followers, posted an average of 1.1 post per day during the March 2016 and each post receiving an average of 526 likes and 11 comments. MDS is a close competitor, with 60.2 thousand followers, posted an average of 4.1 posts per day during March 2016 and each post received an average of 526 likes and 11 comments. In contrast, Osmose only has 9383 followers, posted an average of 3.6 posts per day during March 2016 and each post received an average of 71 likes and 2 comments.
Instagram As A Strategic Tool
The use of social media to communicate with customers is no longer an additional communication option but a strategic tool widely recognized and employed by the fashion industry to interact with customers with the goal of achieving positive business results.The three most commonly used social media platform by fashion companies are are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, with Instagram being the most preferred platform.
The allure of Instagram to fashion companies can be attributed to the following reasons, namely, migration of young millenials from Facebook to Instagram, the high engagement level achievable on Instagram, and the visual nature of Instagram that brings about immense benefits that can be harnessed by the fashion companies.
Since the target customers of MDS, LB, and Osmose comprise mainly of young women and there is a trend of teenagers and young millenials migrating from Facebook to Instagram, there is a higher likelihood of reaching and interacting with their target customers on Instagram. Notably, the trend of these cohorts of the demographic switching from Facebook to Instagram is particularly obvious in Singapore. Hence, this increases the importance for these online fashion retailers to be on Instagram so as to reach and interact with their existing and potential customers.
In addition, given that empirical findings have proven that positive business results can only be achieved by companies who have a superior capability in customer engagement on social media and that Instagram provides the highest level of customer engagement among the social media platorms used by fashion companies, they collectively highlight that actions taken on Instagram can have a direct impact on the business results of a company, further emphasizing the importance of the actions taken by these online fashion retailers on Instagram.
Moreover, Instagram’s visual nature allows these companies to market their products and satisfy customers’ desires to keep abreast of new trends and offers easily, thereby effectively capturing and retaining their interests in the brand on a global scale. However, an analysis of the relationship between the level of customer engagement and they types of posts by the three online fashion retailers show that their followers are less receptive to marketing content, with the exception of marketing content designed as information on new trends, and are instead more receptive to content that involves lifestyle images and friendly or empowering messages.
Unlike MDS’ posts, which comprise mainly of information on upcoming new designs, Osmose’s posts were mainly on marketing of its current products. Unlike LB’s marketing content, which was delivered as information on new trends, Osmose’s marketing content was delivered as straightforward selling of its products. Therefore, to successfully capture and retain customers’ interest in the brand so as to achieve a higher level of customer engagement, Osmose can adopt the strategy of MDS, to strike a better balance in their marketing and non-marketing content, or the strategy of LB, to employ native advertising, which is to deliver its marketing content as information that meets the informational needs of its followers.
Additionally, comments are generally made only with the presence incentives across the three companies analysed. Hence, Osmose should intensify its Instagram campaign of incentivizing its followers to comment on and tag other Instagram users in its posts so as to encourage dialogue within the comments section as well as to magnify its online presence. Accordingly, Osmose should be able to increase and retain customers’ interests in its posts, proxied by the number of likes and followers, and increase the level of interaction between and among its customers, proxied by the number of comments on its posts.
With the adoption of the above recommendation, Osmose should see an improvement to its level of customer engagement on Instagram, which will thus help them compete more effectively with the other online fashion retailers and assist them in their pursuit of better business results.
Background of D’Good Cafe
D’good Café is a café located in Holland village and first started in October 15, 2012. The café is known for serving carefully crafted house-blend coffee. Besides serving a wide range of single-origin coffee beans, the café also stocks rare and exotic types of coffee in the world such as civet coffee, widely regarded as the most expensive coffee in the world. Their signature tagline, “Blend & Brew the way you like it” encompasses the café’s belief in giving its customers what they truly desire by giving them an opportunity to customise and name their own coffee blend.
Together with a commitment for excellence, D’good Café aims for “D’best” experience, starting from a good cup of coffee to good service, food and ambience. D’good Café was also built on the belief of making a positive difference in the community by offering job opportunities to the less privileged, giving rise to the café’s business values, integrity, loyalty and gratitude.
Apart from the coffee and the various social causes the café supports, what differentiates them from their competitors would be their unique theme. D’good Café has a laidback yet chic interior with four different settings – The Bar, The Lawn, The Attic and The Balcony. It even has an iconic swing inside the café, allowing for an enjoyable meal setting while providing for an unusual photo opportunity at the same time.
Therefore, the three main selling point of D’good Café that allows it to stand out from its competitors has been identified as the following.
- Customization of coffee blend
- Belief in making a positive difference in the community
- Interior and ambience of the café
- In what way does D’good Café use social media platforms to highlight its unique selling points?
- What can D’good Café do to translate its unique selling points to further differentiate itself to attract new customers and engage its current customers to improve brand loyalty?
Currently, D’good Café has been utilising its Facebook and Instagram to help boost its customer base, as evident from the high number of followers. The cafe was able to utilise Facebook and Instagram to create an attractive image that suits the theme of the cafe. Frequent updates are also posted on D’good Cafe’s Facebook and Instagram account with information about its new menu and events that was held in the cafe or endorsed by the cafe.
However, there is minimal engagement of its customers and fans on these platforms, as seen by the lack of likes, comments and shares on its post. Therefore, the café still has the potential to increase the awareness of its unique selling points and engage its current customers to improve brand loyalty by utilising these social media platforms more effectively. This is especially crucial in the light of the strong competition present in the local café scene.
Therefore, instead of just using social media as a platform to inform its customers, D’good Café can adopt the following strategies to build relationship with its customers and understand its customers better. The following two strategies suggested seeks to maximising D’good Café’s use of Facebook and Instagram to strengthen its branding, awareness of its uniqueness as well as to increase engagement with its current customers with the aim of establishing strong customer loyalty.
Strategy 1: #DGoodPhoto Contest
This strategy will provide a good opportunity for D’good Café to promote its unique interior and ambience through the photos that are uploaded by its fans. As a result, D’good Café can enhance its unique selling point and further differentiate itself from its competitors. #DGoodPhoto contest will also more likely encourage customers to keep coming back as the theme of the contest changes each month and thus establishing brand loyalty among current customers.
Strateegy 2: #DGoodCoffee Campaign
This strategy would create opportunities for the café to gain a deeper understanding of its customers’ preferences through the proposed brew as well as the comments that will be made on these posts. Furthermore, this campaign would increase the awareness of the café’s unique selling point of allowing customers to customise their own brew and thus further differentiate the café from the rest. #DGoodCoffee campaign would also facilitate the establishment of an online brand community among coffee enthusiasts, creating an identity and nurturing brand loyalty at the same time.
In conclusion, D’good Cafe has been effective in attracting followers to its Facebook and Instagram page. However it has been unable to garner likes for the content it post and encouraging its fans to like, comment or share its post. As such, the two strategies mentioned above are aimed at leveraging on its unique selling points to improve customer engagement and and interaction as well as establishing deeper brand loyalty at the same time. The social media platforms mentioned were carefully selected based on the users demographic on these platforms and the features unique to them that enable D’good Café to effectively reach out to its customers. Consequently, these strategies are aimed at helping to differentiate D’good Café from its competitors in the saturated industry and better engage its current customers in order to establish greater brand loyalty.
Hi everyone, my name is De Zhong and my research report is on Malaysia Airlines Berhad!
Dang dang dang!
That’s right, the airline carrier which unfortunately got thrown into the spotlight after 2 of its planes met with unfortunate incidents. Well, it has been a trying time for MAS (I’m gonna call it that from now) as even before the incidents, they were already in trouble as there are just SO many strong competitors in the region, such as from Singapore Airlines Limited and Garuda Indonesia!
So what happened after is that they basically had to fire staff, hire a new CEO – but he has been doing a rather good job! Just a few days ago, an article has been published stating that they have just profited for THE FIRST TIME since the incidents!
I am very excited to see what will happen in the near future as MAS progresses to become an inspiration to other businesses out there which have met with trials and tribulations.
Alright, but firstly, here’s the two questions I was pondering whilst doing the research report. They are written below!
- How is Malaysia Airlines Berhad currently utilizing its social media platforms in order to engage with its key stakeholders?
- How can Malaysia Airlines Berhad, through social media initiatives, reestablish a
reputation of trust and safety for the corporation, and ultimately increasing profitability to pre-incident levels?
So basically for my research report, I looked at MAS’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, in comparison to the other national airlines in the vicinity, namely Garuda Indonesia (who actually also suffered from incidents in the past but has managed to become such a respected airline after restructuring), and the one and only Singapore Airlines!
Strong competition aye.
Alright now to my findings!
I compared the 3 airlines to each other and WOW were they different. For example, Garuda Indonesia posts more commonly in Bahasa Indonesia (they are sure missing out on a lot of people like me who can’t speak Bahasa), and Singapore Airline’s social media is like reading a gigantic “fact-of-the-day” book, its really interesting and filled with little bite sized pieces of information about travel, tourism and culture!
Whereas for MAS, I am quite surprised but elated that they are not doing too badly too – in fact they have more followers on Twitter than SIA! HA!
But back to serious business:
MAS’s social media account is quite unique, focusing on its staff, and peripheral cues such as happy people to portray optimism on its platforms. Yes! On its people. While this may not work for everyone (for example, personally I’m not so interested in looking at photos of the staff and managers no matter how handsome or pretty they are), but it does BUILD PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS with the people who follow the account.
But at the same time, if you look at these pictures of the smiling staff and think to yourself…
“HEY. They weren’t smiling when they served me rancid coffee on the plane.”…
Then you know what’ll happen?
Negative sentiment is a major issue, as people are generally critics and only listen to negative stuff most of the time. I bet you’ll notice this a lot more than the usual “Good job posts eh”, coz this is more exciting, ain’t it?
So, if we look at MAS’s sentiment analysis as below:
11.8% is way too much.
Let me give you this analogy.
Let’s say I buy a plate of chicken rice at the hawker centre. And there’s a single cockroach leg in it. I make a big fuss, and a complaint on social media.
Does the public see that the other 10000000 plates of chicken rice are nice and tasty? NO!
So you’ve got my point.
My aim now, is to bring down these little pieces of negative sentiment to 5% (a realistic goal coz 0% is impossible) – How so? I will DIVERT and DETER.
DIVERTING, by putting up call-to-action posts to ENCOURAGE users to give feedback (and hopefully inclusive of the bad ones) via messaging them directly, and not post it on social media and all. BUT this requires their effort to be very consistent and timely in fixing problems as well.
Here’s an example of what they can do!
Yup, friendly language, hashtags and all – I AM CONVINCED AND I WILL MESSAGE THEM.
So what about DETERRING then?
Well, we will be PROACTIVE in engaging in a social media campaign, unified by #TheMASLife hashtag. In essence, they are already posting pictures of their employees (yay!), what I am suggesting is for them to actually make it into a campaign, and build upon it by including inspirational accounts of why they joined MAS and etc.
Here’s an example!
Basically, everyone already knows our sob story. Now’s OUR turn to tell them that WE MADE IT BACK, to serve you guys.
And isn’t that beautiful?
Well of course, on hindsight, these communication strategies rely a little on fate. If MH370 is found, and we know how the plane was lost, then MAS would be better able to tell its key stakeholders that they either have made the necessary changes to prevent such an incident from happening again, or scapegoat someone else.
That’s all folks, and I am so happy that I have signed up for this module with you guys! Till the summer holidays!!!
De Zhong 🙂
Hi all, here’s a summary of the social media project that I did for The Coca-Cola Company, in particular Dasani.
Introduction and Research Question
The Coca-Cola Company offers a myriad of products, including its headliner – Coca Cola, which solidified the company’s position as a leading beverage brand, translating its popularity online with the advent of social media. Whilst the variety of beverages produced Coca-Cola Company allows the company to capture a wider target market, not all of the brands performed on par with Coca Cola. Some brands lagged behind Coca Cola in terms of consumer perception, especially so for Dasani, which came under scrutiny for deceptive advertising when Dasani’s water source was revealed to be purified local tap water (Huff, 2013). Hence, this paper discusses the methods in which how the Coca Cola Company can increase the brand equity of its lesser performing brand – Dasani, without canalizing on its other existing brands, by deriving learning elements from its successful brands which enjoy a strong presence on social media, namely Cola Cola and Glacéau Vitaminwater.
Findings (Strengths & Weaknesses)
There are various strengths and weaknesses observed between the brands that Dasani can learn from and improve on:
Coca Cola’s signature and best performing advertisements were ones that highlighted a simple slogan, often about happiness, easily understood and accepted by global consumers. Thus, a clear message would be ideal to attract audiences and prevent misperceptions.
Most influencers have built a strong and loyal audience base who will view their content on a regular basis. Hence by working with influencer, companies will be able to tap in to the influencer’s secondary network and extend their own audience pool, as evidenced from the from Coca Cola’s and Vitaminwater’s collaboration with Kurt Hugo Schneider and Kevin Hart respectively.
Dasani appears to struggle to keep its channel active as it only has 14 video uploads since its inauguration 3 years ago. This poses marketing challenges as audiences might be confused by outdated product information and branding (Pixability, 2013), and as a result unsubscribe to Dasani’s channel due to inactivity.
Content Strategy 1: Oasis
The Oasis campaign aims to spread the message of eco-friendly living to its audience, tapping into the image associated with its environmentally sourced and produced bottles.
As shown in Figure 10, the Oasis campaign is a video content which is to be uploaded on Youtube. In the first scene, an influencer is shown walking home when he or her surroundings changes before his or her eyes. Subsequently, he or she finds himself or herself in a green and lush city and is drawn into an oasis in the urban city.
The influencer chosen for this strategy is preferably someone who is known to support environmental awareness and partakes in recycling habits. Potential influencers would include anthropologist and environmental activist Jane Goodall, who is heavily involved in sustainable development projects in Africa (Jane Goodall Institute, 2016). Another potential candidate for an influencer would be Gisele Bundchen, an international supermodel and green advocate who was presented the Best International Green Celebrity Award in 2011 (International Green Awards, 2011). As influencers act as brand advocates, an influencer who is aligned with Dasani brand image would be able to establish credibility with consumers and help to increase market share.
The strategy is aligned with objectives 1 and 3 and promotes the message of environmentally friendly and sustainable living. Dasani can measure the success of this strategy through tracking the number of views, likes and rise in number of subscribers.
Content Strategy 2: #howdoyourecycle
According to Cohen (2014), there has been a growing level of environmental awareness amongst the global population, implying a change in consumer values and a new niche market, which supports Dasani’s existing suitability outreach. Hence the #howdoyourecycle strategy taps into new consumer insights, engaging with its audience whilst building on its existing sustainability campaign.
As shown in Figure 11, the video shows ordinary people from all of walks of life sharing how they recycle. For example, the person in scene would say “I bring my own containers for takeaway food.” The video ends with Dasani asking its viewers how he or she recycles, prompting viewers to share their recycling habits and uploading them on Youtube (Figure 11) with the hashtag #howdoyourecycle.
To motivate viewers into joining the campaign, a competition element is added. The user with the highest number of views on his or her video will be invited to be the next green ambassador for Dasani and headline Dasani’s next green campaign. Also, the viewer joining the campaign has to subscribe to Dasani’s channel in order to be considered for the competition.
Thus this strategies fulfills all 3 objectives, allowing Dasani to engage with their audience with a reaction video to their campaign as well as increase their number subscribers through the competition requirement.
In conclusion, with Youtube’s adequate technical features, companies are better equipped to create unique content catered to and easily accessed by their audiences. As Dasani revamped its brand identity, it has the potential engage a new niche market and develop its customer base, thereby increasing its popularity and brand awareness on Youtube’s platform. Hence, the proposed strategies are aimed at increasing Dasani’s number of subscribers, incite conservations amongst users and generate a WOM effect all in all to increase awareness of Dasani’s new brand identity.
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!
Launched in 1994 in Korea, Laneige is a premium cosmetic brand that promotes lively, youthful skin with its most advanced ‘water science’ technology. As one of the many brands under Amore Pacific, the leading cosmetic company in Korea, Laneige entered the Singapore market in 2004. Korean beauty is now a rising trend in Singapore, especially since their products are considered lighter which is more suitable for Singapore’s hot and humid weather.
Over the years, Laneige has built a strong brand profile with a series of marketing campaigns. However, as consumers become more involved in co-producing a brand’s online marketing content, it is important for a brand to pay attention to their usage of the different social media platforms. Hence, we question if Laneige is effectively engaging its users on the different social media channels and how Laneige can further distinguish one social media platform from another.
No of likes/ followerse/ subscribers
|1 146 618||21 200||4891|
|Average number of likes/ views per post||50||219||
|Frequency of posts||Average 1 per day||More than 1 per day||
Despite the huge number of Facebook likes than Instagram followers, Laneige’s Facebook posts always attained very few likes. On top of that, majority of Laneige’s Facebook posts are exactly the same of that as their Instagram’s. If this continues, it is very likely that users will ‘migrate’ to Laneige’s Instagram account for updates instead. Hence, Laneige will lose a potential platform to increase their brand awareness. Therefore, Laneige should re-adjust its strategies to differentiate the two different platforms.
Laneige’s YouTube channel has an interesting playlist “School of K-beauty” whereby makeup tutorials using Laneige’s products are uploaded. However, these videos were not uploaded regularly and this works the same for other videos like promotional videos. Therefore, users will not be motivated to check Laneige’s YouTube channel regularly and Laneige will lose another platform to interact with the potential online consumers. Hence, Laneige can consider producing a web drama series with a concept that revolves around skincare and makeup products. Adding a storyline to the videos will encourage users to visit Laneige’s channel frequently for updates.
ASOS is a contemporary online shopping platform from the United Kingdom (UK) that aims to be a one-stop fashion destination for consumers in their 20s. Starting out as AsSeenOnScreen Holdings PLC and AsSeenOnScreen Limited, they won the Best Trendsetter Award by the Sunday Times and shortened their name to ASOS, for easier identification.
In order to create a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience for their customers, ASOS developed a 4-pronged approach:
- Great Fashion, Great Price
- Awesome on Mobile
- Best-In-Class Service
- Engaging Content and Experience
The current approach has successfully increased customer loyalty and customer spending, but ASOS continues to reach out to the global target audience of the 20-somethings, through their social media strategies, which include:
- Impression Management through Customer Service
- Social Media Marketing through Stylists’ Recommendations
- Hashtag Campaign
Impression Management: Customer Service
ASOS manages its original social media platforms separately from its customer service, by creating a Twitter account called @ASOS_HeretoHelp to form an impression on its customers that it takes a strong stance on providing efficient and effective customer service platform.
Social Media Marketing: Stylists’ Recommendations
ASOS also has multiple stylists from all over the globe, who have their own ASOS stylist Instagram accounts to create fashion inspiration for existing and potential customers, which directs customers to their website to check out those items that have been recommended by their favourite stylists.
Playing on its original name, AsSeenOnScreen, ASOS has a hashtag campaign with the hashtag #AsSeenOnMe, that creates a fashion community for all ASOS fans and fashion enthusiasts. This also allows for an increase in interactivity and 2-way communication between ASOS and its fans, and among the fans.
However, after some social media analysis, the proposal was made by leveraging on the strengths of ASOS’ social media use, and improving the weaknesses of that. In the midst of all the rising of competing online fashion retailers, ASOS has to secure its market share and expand it to ensure its stability in the future.
How can ASOS expand its customer base through the use of social media platforms?
Integrated Marketing Communication will be the strategy used as a whole to achieve the objectives of obtaining more brand awareness in the long run. This will be a multi-phased and multi-platform strategy.
- Expansion into the Cosmetic Market
- Reaching Out to Like-minded Fashion Enthusiasts
- Expansion into Celebrities’ Fanbase
The campaign will be a collaboration with NYX Cosmetics, one of the curated beauty brands, to create trending makeup looks, while ASOS creates matching outfits to suit the looks. Fans of both ASOS and NYX Cosmetics will hashtag #ASOSlovesNYX when they recreate the same looks and post them on Instagram. The post with the most likes will then get a year’s worth of make up from NYX Cosmetics and £800 worth of store credit vouchers from ASOS. To join the hashtag contest, fans must be followers of both ASOS and NYX Cosmetics, thus increasing the following of both companies’ Instagram. Behind-the-scenes actions will also be posted on Facebook to further spread the campaign.
Phase 2 utilises Facebook to spread ASOS’ lookbook campaign. Every first week of the month, three different fashion styles (i.e. minimalist, rocker chic, preppy, etc.) will be released in albums of curated look books to the public on Facebook. Consumers will vote for their favourite styles by ‘liking’ their favourite style’s album. After a week of voting, the style of the most ‘liked’ album will then become the curated style of the month and ASOS will bring in more clothes and accessories under the winning style category, and create a special editorial to provide more fashion inspiration to consumers.
The third phase is a collaboration with Ariana Grande for the brands that she personally prefers out of all that are listed on ASOS, to strategically tap on her popularity. This collaboration emulates the annual New York and Paris Fashion Weeks’ attempts to substantially increase in global engagement by having an exclusive life story week. There will also be an exclusive life story that ASOS staff and Grande herself can contribute to behind-the-scenes actions, such as the styling process and the photo shoot, which will help tap on her fanbase and reach out to more potential customers.
Thank you everyone for reading this and have a great summer! 🙂
STEP Studio(“STEP”) is a commercial dance studio based in Singapore catered to beginners. Its target demographic ranges from 15 to 35 years old, largely characterised by students and young working adults. Due to the nature of beginner-level classes, STEP appeals highly to casual dancers, who tend to attend class on an irregular, spontaneous basis. Serious dancers may be more dedicated, but are less likely to stay loyal to STEP as other studios present more of a challenge. Thus, STEP’s customer base is characterised by a high turnover of new, inexperienced dancers.
At this point, I wish to clarify that studio loyalty does not equate to customer retention. For example, a casual student attends classes only at STEP. However, she/he comes for classes only once every two months. Success of retaining the customer, would be attending classes regularly, at least once a month. This is not a phenomenon unique to STEP but across other dance studios due to the prioritisation of work over such pursuits.
Thus, in view of the weak customer retention and the competition faced by other studios, my report seeks to evaluate its social media strategy and address how STEP can improve its branding strategy to differentiate itself from its other studios and increase the appeal of its services.
Instagram is the most active platform in terms of frequency of posts. Posts range from 15-second videos of class choreographies, schedule updates to publicity for commercial event appearances. On the other hand, STEP’s Facebook page is used to make announcements for major events such as recital auditions, while the class videos on its YouTube page allow students to monitor their dancing.
These platforms help to increase STEP’s brand awareness through hash tags such as #dancesg and the practice of tagging its instructors and students. In addition, they help to remove the informational barrier of not knowing what to expect for people who have no danced before but wish to sign up for classes.
Analysis of STEP’s Social Media Strategy
In comparison to more established dance studios such as O School, STEP stands out in its centralised social media marketing strategy and a customer-centric approach. However, there are also limitations. Outreach is restricted to existing dancers due to the specialised interest of wanting to learn how to dance. Engagement in terms of likes and shares is also poor, which might impact the brand’s visibility in light of Instagram’s new feature of showing posts that are based on users’ preferences. This presents a need to find other ways to increase its brand awareness, beyond the dance community.
Objective: To increase mass appeal of STEP Studio as an outlet for recreational dance.
As recreational dance is encapsulated by the idea of having fun, the hashtag campaign #dancelor seeks to change people’s misconceptions of dance lessons as a stressful process and increase the appeal of dance as a fun leisure activity. This will in turn strengthen the appeal for STEP’s classes.
Using the hashtag #dancelor, users are invited to post a photo of them dancing in unconventional places, tag STEP’s Instagram account and include a short caption starting with “I dance because…” Entries submitted by STEP students will be reposted on STEP’s Instagram with comments about their growth after joining the studio. After a month, the five most creative entries from the campaign will stand to win a STEP T-shirt, free classes for a month and an opportunity to participate in a concept video that will be uploaded on YouTube. Based on the popularity of its previous video, “The Singapore Bus Stop”, this video will be publicised as the continuation, featuring STEP instructors and the winners dancing to a choreographed piece with strangers at bus stops across the island.
With STEP at the forefront of this light-hearted dance campaign, its identity as a fun studio passionate about dance will be strengthened. By shaping STEP’s image to be one that is attractive to recreational dancers, it will thus be able to differentiate itself from its competitors to ensure the long term sustainability of its operations.