Hi guys! Here’s an update on our project!
The Coastal Settlement
The Coastal Settlement (TCS) is a casual dining, vintage-themed restaurant and bar located along the Coast of Changi. It was established by The Urban Group under the management of The Lifecycle Concepts Group in 2011 (Appendix A). It primarily serves Asian and Western fare and targets young adults, working professionals, and families with young children
Current Social Media Strategies
From our interviews, we found that management of The Coastal Settlement does not believe in social media marketing and prefers to invest in operations instead. They prefer word-of-mouth marketing rather than investing in social media marketing. While we acknowledge that word-of-mouth marketing has certain benefits, we believe that social media marketing has a greater ability to market the brand and raise its sales and footfall.
TCS has a very weak social media presence, especially since it only has a profile on Facebook, while its competitors are active on both Facebook and Instagram.
Content on TCS’s Facebook page are mostly promotional in nature. Much of the pictures posted concern various promotional menu items. Even so, they are extremely infrequent; it only had one post on its Facebook page in the last month. There are also no visible social media strategies in place.
Objectives of Recommended Social Media Strategies
We hope that through our recommendations, The Coastal Settlement can:
- Increase Reach and Engagement on Social Media
- Increase Positive Word-of-Mouth on Social Media
- Increase Footfall to the Restaurant
Short Term Strategies
- Native Advertising: Four-Part Web – Series
As such, we propose to team up with local independent lifestyle food review site called Eatbook to produce a series of videos that centre around a couple falling in love, all within the premises of TCS. While it may seem like a modern-day love story, the videos would subtly emphasize various selling points of the restaurant, such as its vintage-decor and large interior.
Objectives & Rationale
The purpose of the web-series is to increase awareness of the restaurant as well as to support our other short and long-term strategies, which would be further elaborated below. We chose Eatbook because the media company’s target audience (18-35 year olds) are those that TCS hopes to attract. They also have great reach on social media with 90,000 followers on Facebook and specialise in shooting food review videos.
The Four-Part Web Series: A TCS Love Story
As mentioned above, the web series would centre around a couple that meet and fall in love all within the premises of TCS. The four-episode web series would be released on TCS’s Facebook page as well as on Eatbook’s YouTube channel. Each episode would be released a week apart within a month. Upon the release of the final episode, we would execute our short-term strategy titled #OfotoTCS and long-term strategies titled #MonthlyHouseChallenges and #TCSWorkshopWarrior.
- Partnership with Ofo: #OfotoTCS
The strategy is targeted at potential customers spread throughout a 5km radius from the restaurant. The collaboration entails the modification of 100 Ofo bicycles. These bicycles are then stationed at easy-access points. These locations include chalets, hotels, army camps, as well as nearby neighbourhoods.
Similar co-partnerships with other bicycle sharing companies had proven to be effective in increasing brand awareness of both brands. An example, “Hunt the oBike Challenge”, required riders to actively seek out these bicycles. Another example, “Pedal to Palate contest”, required participants to journey at least 10 minutes to qualify for the food promotions.
This strategy would be catered to our primary target audience, the Millennials. This approach is part of the overall strategy to increase footfall to the restaurant. Through our research, we had identified TCS to be along frequented bicycle routes. Hence, we want to encourage more cyclists to visit the restaurant through this strategy. This strategy also shows TCS as a relatively accessible dining option, especially to the active community.
Greater efforts must be done to increase its reach to its target markets, as its regulars’ weekly patronage would not be sufficient and sustainable. Parking the bikes at easy-access-points like chalets and hotels would be ideal to capture new audiences, as it will be positioned as a form of rewarding recreational activity. This showcases how TCS’s social media handles could benefit from the spill over effects of this offline tactical activation as well, as seen from the #OfotoTCS. The promotion will run for two months.
Long – Term Strategies
- Overhaul of Social Media Platform
TCS would need a long-term strategy to sustain its social media presence. We have three main recommendations to build that up:
A. Setting up of an Instagram page,
B. Redesigning its current website, and
C. Creation of new content pillars.
A. Setting Up of Instagram Page
As mentioned above, TCS does not have a presence on Instagram while its competitors: Xiao Ya Tou, d’Good Cafe, and P.S Cafe, have active Instagram profiles. To keep up with the competition and to attract and connect with millennials, there is a need for TCS to do the same. The use of hashtags and geotags enables a substantial gain of followers through heightened awareness. Personalized hashtags like #OfotoTCS and #TCSMilkTah portrays its edgy brand personality, making it more relatable to its target groups.
Constant maintenance of its social media handles is another way to stay competitive and shows sincerity. Regular postings would prompt greater brand recall as they make appearances in consumers’ newsfeeds. Frequent engagements with fans of TCS are encouraged; for example, replying and/or reacting to any comments. This improves the relationship between audiences and TCS as it allows conversations to happen, making the brand more personable.
B. Revamp Website
We have received feedback that the current website is cluttered, has an unintuitive user interface, and is outdated. As such, TCS should reorganise their website.
We propose that the new website has a clean (keeping to the colour palette of brown and white), minimalistic and having a more intuitive user interface. There will be tabs to direct consumers to the respective information they wish to know. A Gif. of TCS’s food offerings will be shown in the middle of the site to entice users, as there is increased exposure to that particular dish, increasing its likelihood of being ordered.
Its website should be updated regularly – including updated food menus, ongoing promotions and contact details. This will increase its perceived trustworthiness.
C. Content Pillars
We have crafted a few content pillars for TCS’s social media platforms so that consumers would be better engaged. These contents have to be maintained and updated consistently.
Consistently maintaining TCS social media platforms with pictures of its interior design and food is paramount. TCS could take on humanising itself as a differentiating factor from its competitors by sharing her own employees’ stories. Using Changi Airport’s #FacesofChangi’s content pillar as an example – touching monthly interviews with its employees are conducted. Likewise, employees of TCS could share their stories (e.g. what drove their passion for food) – this encourages greater engagements especially from its target audience; the Millennials.
User Generated Content (UGCs)
Featured posts are published on well-known sites like Sethlui.com, ladyironchef.com, Singapore Airlines and even on international publications like The Lonely Planet. TCS should capitalise on such postings and do re-postings, to increase its awareness among the target groups. Not only should they feature posts from these publications, they should also re-post similar content posted by its customers. Riding on the trend of ‘Outfit of The Day’ posts (#OOTD), TCS could leverage on its beautiful decor further. Substantial existing posts taken in TCS can be seen from the location tag on Instagram.
Not only is the content free-of-charge, this 2 – pronged approach also fosters better relationships between the content creators and TCS. This acknowledgement allows greater engagements and increment of brand advocacy within this community.
There is another content pillar catered specifically to the implementation of long-term strategies which will be further elaborated later on – #TCSWorkshopWarrior and TCS’s monthly house challenges. There will be at least a quota of two to three posts per strategy set aside during the planning of the overall editorial calendar for its Facebook and Instagram pages.
- Monthly House Challenges – #TCSMilkTah Challenge
The implementation of monthly house challenges for TCS will be our second proposed long-term strategy. Although the contest mechanics can vary (e.g. depending on which food item they would like to promote that particular month), they are essentially monthly contests whereby the fastest finisher will be awarded dining vouchers. They will take place in the course of a month, and the timings will be recorded. #TCSMilkTah Challenge will be used as an example to showcase the concept.
The idea behind featuring TCS’s milkshake as the first of these challenges is because it is their signature drink. Riding on the existing trends of food challenges, this two-pronged approach could spark an interest amongst its target audiences and lead to increase in footfall. These challenges would be renamed accordingly, following a local and colloquial twist. The naming convention is largely motivated by the localised theme that TCS brands itself upon.
With regards to the offline platform, there will be a designated ‘Wall of Fame’ hung in the TCS space. Having a physical billboard in-store allows TCS to tap on opportunities to increase brand awareness on the digital social space. Winners will be announced on the 6th week, in conjunction with the teaser post for the following month’s challenge. The prize mechanism could potentially be awarding the winners a TCS $50 dining voucher to be used on their return visit to TCS.
- Workshop Series at TCS: #TCSWorkshopWarrior
The last of the long-term strategies would be for TCS to collaborate with local artists to conduct workshops monthly at the restaurant. This is possible due to the large space at TCS. This strategy is targeted towards 3 groups – the workshop junkies, event planners and the millennial families.
The introduction of the monthly workshop series is part of the overall strategy to create awareness, engagements on social media and increase footfall to TCS. From research, it is noted that workshops have also become part of retail stores. An example would be a pop-up shop named “Keepers: Singapore Designer Collective”, where they had been running workshops during their tenure. The response has been generally positive, where the workshops were either sold out or over-subscribed. As such, conducting craft workshops at shops proves that it favourable for both shop owner and its customers.
From our interview with the staff of TCS, families usually dine-in during the weekends. By conducting workshops during weekends will encourage them to spend more time in the restaurant. The long-term hope is to cultivate the impression that TCS is more than just a dining location. That visiting TCS can actually be a family outing.
In commemoration of special events like Mother’s Day, there can be family-friendly bonding activities. An example could be to hold friendly competitions between the different mother-child pairings in a clay-making session.
To mitigate the poor brand health of TCS’s social media handles, our proposed short-term and long-term strategies aim to establish a strong social media presence for TCS – whereby the end goal is to increase its brand awareness, engagement and footfall to the restaurant.
Short-term strategies like involving co-partnerships with brands and using native storytelling, can lay the foundations for building a sustainable community for TCS, especially with its primary target audience – the Millennials. The long-term strategies work on sustaining the footfall, in the midst of building up its awareness and engagement through positive word-of-mouth from brand advocates.