Anonymity: More Good or Bad?

Hi class, I was very intrigued when Professor shared more about online anonymity and wanted to know more about other’s thoughts on it. However, as there was limited time, I have decided to source for everyone’s opinions through the class blog.

In my opinion, criminals that use it to do harm are not as anonymous as they think, as IP addresses can be traced and most of them are eventually caught. As such, I am of the opinion that it is more good than bad.

Moreover, anonymity is needed to protect the whistleblower’s identity, whose safety can be severely threatened. Many state of things would not be what it is today, if not for anonymity.

However, anonymity brings about a whole new set of challenges for businesses. Unethical competitors are now able to leave negative review/comments. The affected company will then need to spend extra costs and efforts finding out who or whom is the mastermind behind the negative reviews and find ways to expose the truth and remove the unfair review/comments.

Many businesses in today’s world are still not social media savvy enough to handle such crises. As mentioned by Professor Kyu, many Singapore businesses do not believe in using Social Media Engagement. However, what is surprising is that Singapore is the home to one of the most active social media consumers in the world (as shown below). Hence, despite what Singapore business owners might believe in, they are missing out on a great way to leverage their businesses over their competitors.



What are your opinions? Please share them with me in the comments below!




Social Media Chatbots: The Future of Communication

A few weeks back, I mentioned this phenomenon on Chatbots and how it enables brands to connect to consumers through messenging apps (such as Facebook Messenger) instead of social media, and how it is an essential part of reshaping the social economy. After skimming through the internet, I have found the following points to be quite eye opening!

It totally slipped my mind to share it on this site, but better late than never!

What are Chatbots?

In all its essence, it is a piece of software that you chat with to get things done or be entertained. Just think of it as a replacement for all of the apps you have downloaded. For example, you can ask a bot about the weather and temperature instead of going into a weather app itself.

Eventually, chatbots could become your own personal assistant to take care of everything, whether you are getting an Uber or shopping for clothes. Messenging platforms such as Facebook Messenger can even let individual chatbots talk to you about things that are important, such as your flight details (I will elaborate and give an example later in the journal).

All chatbot softwares do not only use robots, as some even of them use humans to help them answer tricky questions. In social media marketing, although chatbots have evolved, their prime functionality remains the same, and that is to improve real-time engagement. Customers are always searching for prompt and ready replies to their comments and queries. The chatbots are designed in such a manner that they are able to answer most of the queries placed by customers, without human intervention. And this helps in bonding a strong relationship with a brand’s customers and potential crowds, without paying for high overheads on staff.

Siri is an example of a bot that’s built into the operating system of the device. Instead of texting, Siri responds only to voice. But, it’s still considered a “chatbot” because it’s conversational. Siri isn’t the smartest of bots because she doesn’t remember much, but with the increasing popularity of chatbots, Apple might be looking to upgrade her soon.

How do they work?

Facebook believe that chatbots can make life easier for their 1.5 billion users and some brands have jumped on board early to test out FB Messenger bots as a way of interacting with customers. For example, KLM is now giving passengers the option to receive flight updates, and boarding passes through FB Messenger.

Once a user has booked a flight, KLM will open up a message thread and send booking confirmations, flight updates, and their boarding pass. Passengers will also be able to chat with KLM customer support directly inside of FB Messenger. This is how it looks like:

Chatbots reduce friction in a customer’s journey and make customer service interactions easier for customers and brands. This could mean that instead of customers turning to public-facing channels like Facebook, or even email, the vast majority of customer support and interaction could come through messaging platforms where users will expect to have everything they need (account information, receipts, order history,) all in one place.

Another theoretically concept of how it could actually look like:

Why Chatbots? Future possibilities:


People are using messenger apps more than they are using social networks. The transition from public social media to chat apps could be the biggest change in internet culture and marketing since social media itself. However, it’s still not clear exactly how brands will be able to maximize the opportunities presented by messaging apps.

While there is no doubt this chatbot-driven social media system is the future, there is still need for improvements before the bots officially take over.

Although chatbots are moving in, and likely to become mainstream within three to five years, humans should still have a place in social media. However, as bots become equipped to handle text content, the human side of brands and consumers will gravitate toward new, richer ways to engage, including virtual and augmented reality.

Some articles you can read if you are interested:

Australia Stakeholder Management Specialist, Penny Townley visit to COMM346

“Social media is a valuable tool not only to identify issues and key stakeholders on a project but also to enhance public participation thereby create positive and solid relationship with them”, said Penny Townley of Penny Townley’s Environment Services.

Ms Townley, COMM346’s honored Guest Speaker (29-30 Sept 2016), flew from Brisbane, Australia to lecture on “Australian infrastructure and social media.”

Throughout her extremely valuable lecture, Ms. Townley shared her more than three decades of experience in the field as an executive leader in communication.  Amongst other aspects she outlined major frameworks for stakeholder engagement models applicable to various projects including the International Association for Public Participation Spectrum. She explained and discussed how social media development has facilitated two-way engagement with key stakeholders. And – along with key guiding principles and frameworks – she elaborated on the role of social media in not only engaging the public, but also reflecting their voice, in the many infrastructure projects occurring such as Australia’s Sydney Metro, Northwest Rail Link and Barangaroo.

Ms Townley focuses on the key value of social media, especially in building understanding about the value of the project, as a listening post and educative communication tool, and in tackling the severity of crisis via social media trending during the disaster.

Of high interest during her extended lecture, Ms. Townley enlightened COMM346 about how digital media tools have contributed to online public or civic engagement needs. An example was the online consultation solution EngagementHQ, dedicated to helping government and private sector organizations to provide meaningful voice to their citizens. In 2015 alone, Bang the Table’s software EngagementHQ was used in 2000+ online citizen participation projects in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. (

Ms Townley also introduced AtHoc, a secure enterprise platform for crisis communication within and across organizations for personnel safety and business resilience. (


Ms. Townley’s work spans infrastructure, environment, planning, education, health, social and professional services, etc. She contributes to the industry’s professional standards and is one of six authors of Valuing Better Engagement, the Consult Australia guide to tendering for engagement services (published December 2013). COMM346 appreciates Penny Townley’s wonderful and generous guest lecture, and with it her sparkling enthusiasm for, and warmth towards young future professionals in academics!

G2 – What Flavour Do You Favour?


Hi guys! Thought I would share one of my favourite campaigns by Cadbury that used social media in a fun and creative way to raise awareness for its Dairy Milk brain in Australia.

Challenge Cadbury was facing: Chocolate industry was getting increasingly saturated and Cadbury was not doing enough to sell its Dairy Milk brand, which was hence becoming boring to consumers.

Consumer Insight: Everyone has a favourite chocolate flavour but they still like trying new flavours.

Big Idea: Create a buzz around people’s favourite flavours and raise awareness of the variety of flavours offered by Cadbury in the process.

Social Media Strategy 

What? Flavour-Matching Facebook-Powered Vending Machine

How? Vending machine’ scans users Facebook profiles and analyses their preferences based on ‘likes’ (e.g. movie; tv shows; singers etc). Based on this analysis, the machine will choose a chocolate flavour that matches your personality.

End Result? A short description on your personality and of course, a free bar of chocolate that Cadbury believes matches your personality.

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 4.40.27 pm.png

Why did this work? 

  • Used Facebook in an engaging and creative manner
  • Generate excitement amongst consumers
  • Integration of various mediums (e.g. TV adverts; print posters; sales promotions; Facebook engagement posts etc)