Overview of Organization
Established in 2015, Handmade Heroes (HH) is a small Singaporean brand focused on handmade skin care products. HH, run by founder and sole owner Lynsey Lim, prides itself on its affordable skin care and beauty products for women. Ms Lim is involved in all aspects of HH’s operations, from making the products to running the business. HH’s key selling point is its handmade, all natural and PETA certified vegan and cruelty free products. Their completely natural products lacking any artificial ingredients are actually edible! This allows HH to keep their price points low. HH’s line of facemasks, lip balms, body scrubs amongst others are handmade by Ms Lim along with employees from the Friends of the Disabled, a social enterprise helping disabled individuals find employment.
- How does Handmade Heroes leverage on its unique natural handmade products to promote its brand on social media?
- How can Handmade Heroes increase its social media engagement?
Social media Overview
The 10 posts in March were identified to have 3 different overarching themes. 4 of them were posts about being featured in articles and websites. Another 3 were random posts regarding the weather or seasons greetings to their fans with a product placement, Easter in this case. The remaining 3 were regarding updates on ongoing product sales and promotions. However, on closer examination, it can be seen that these posts do not create any form of interaction or conversation with their fans. This shows in their ability to only garner 4-5 likes. Compared to their 15,100 fans, it is very disappointing and is further support of HH’s close to zero interaction with their fans. HH tends not to promote the all-natural aspect of their products in the posts.
During the period of observation, HH only posted 3 photos. The reason behind the poor performance on Instagram is better understood when inspecting the individual posts. Posts on Instagram were mostly slightly altered but glaringly similar to posts on their Facebook page. It was almost as good as reposting it from Facebook.
A brief overview of their profile page (Figure 11) shows that they only have 9 followers after a year of existence. A brief overview of their posts in March reveal that their 7 posts in March garnered a grand total of 0 retweets and 1 favorite. The Twitter account exists purely to repost links to HH’s Instagram account.
Social Media Analysis
To answer the first research question, HH does not leverage on its unique selling point of handmade all natural products in its SM pages. The second research question becomes relevant upon the complete analysis of their social media. Having seen the poor interaction rates (0.025) on HH’s social media, it is critical then to find how they can increase their engagement rate. With 15,100 fans on Facebook, HH has a relatively large base to work with. Their posts on SM do not create an environment for interaction for their fans; the promotion, reviews and random posts do not encourage or create conversations. It is clear that HH has no proper SM strategy rather than the occasional posts to ‘seem alive’.
FrankSkincare and Rough Beauty are two local startups that provide similar all natural and organic products. Both brands have only started operations this year. However, more importantly, the interaction rates for HH’s competitors are higher. Both FrankSkincare (1.44%) and Rough Beauty (2.46%) consistently maintain higher interaction rates when compared to 0.03% for HH. FrankSkincare regularly features posts about their popup shops across Singapore. This allows them to increase their visibility both virtually and physically. Rough Beauty’s distinguishing feature is the posts regarding its customizable soap, increasing customer engagement and identity with the brand. Unlike FrankSkincare and Rough Beauty, HH does not leverage on its key selling points in their SM strategy. Already stealing a march on HH in interactions, it will not be long before their competitors interactions build a strong brand identity among customers, something HH cannot afford to happen. Thus, HH needs to have in place clear SM objectives and strategies to increase engagement with their broad fan base to build a brand identity with HH.
Social Media Objectives
Objective 1: Generating Word-of-Mouth Effect for Handmade Heroes
Objective 2: Increasing Handmade Heroes Social Media Engagement
Proposed Social Media Strategies
- Delete Twitter account (9 followers after one year)
- Social Media Calendar
1st Content Strategy: #BeYourOwnHandmadeHero Campaign
This campaign breaks down the wall between the company and the customer as the brand encourages interaction with its fans. This allows for customer engagement and the building of relationships (Objective 2). By leveraging on their handmade all-natural products, HH is able to provide its fans with a very unique experience that will generate word-of-mouth effect (Objective 1).
2nd Content Strategy: Influencer Campaign
This paper recommends using influencers with a strong following with established makeup tutorials on YouTube. The influencer will be given a free set of products to use for their daily use and to be featured on their makeup tutorials. The influencer would also be encouraged to try to show the natural and edible side of HH’s products, highlighting HH’s unique selling points. For example they could taste the cherry lipbalm and give the viewers their reaction. This strategy allows HH to gain brand awareness amongst a larger target audience. Moreover, it allows HH to reap the benefits of YouTube without actually having a YouTube account. The tasting of the lipbalm would generate word-of-moth effect (Objective 1) as it’s a unique characteristic of HH’s all natural edible lipbalms.
Having analyzed how HH is not leveraging on its unique products to increase its social media following, this paper has recommended two strategies aimed at doing so. It also has suggested ways HH can leverage on SM to engage with their customers beyond their current non-existent strategies. However, this paper also goes beyond HH. It shows the importance of social media for small and medium-sized enterprises to maintain relevant and compete with big brands. Leveraging on their own unique selling points and the strengths of SM, any company can reap the rewards of SM with a carefully curated strategy.