Individual Project: Petrol Retail Companies

Hi everyone! I am Jia Wei from G2 and my individual project is on the petrol retail industry! I chose Facebook as my social media platform and looked at the performance of 3 petrol retail companies in Singapore – Shell, Esso, and Caltex (They should be very familiar names to all of you!)

Introduction

As you all know, petrol prices in Singapore cannot be manipulated easily, with the government watching closely. The only way for companies to stand out is through non-price differentiation strategies, whereby Facebook seems like the ideal tool to do so!

Research Question

As such, my research question for this project is to find out how Facebook can be used by petrol retail companies to improve their relationships with customers, so as to differentiate their products from their competitors.

Insights

After tracking and observing the Facebook activities of Shell, Esso, and Caltex, I obtained some insights through the analysis:

  1. While advertising on Facebook can help companies greatly increase their reach and brand awareness, it may not be as effective in promoting specific products or causes as people are wary of advertised products.
  2. Facebook posts should be relevant to the company, and not based on random and irrelevant topics.
  3. Contests are able to generate a lot of buzz on Facebook pages, and related posts go viral more easily.

Recommendations

I chose to offer recommendations to Caltex, since they had the most Facebook posts during the tracking period, but they were least well-received by the online community, showing that their social media strategy is ineffective!

My target audience comprises of young working adults who drive at least once a week, as only drivers would need to purchase petrol (obviously!) and young working adults are more active on Facebook.

My first strategy is a hashtag #RunOnTechrOn brand ambassador campaign, where fans are invited to share their reasons for loving Caltex’s petrol, Techron, with its special additives. The poster shown below will be posted on Caltex’s Facebook page, open for anyone to comment. Their comments could be something like “I #RunOnTechrOn because it is more efficient and brings me further!”Poster mockup.png

Online Poster for #RunOnTechrOn campaign

My second strategy is a card designing contest whereby Facebook users are invited to submit their own renditions of designs for the Caltex loyalty card. The winner will walk away with a year’s supply of Caltex petrol! (Of course that’s limited to one full-tank topup every month, but that’s attractive enough!) The winning design will also be used as the next loyalty card design! An example of a card design can be found right below:

Card mockup.png

Example of Card Design

Conclusion

These strategies can help increase engagement with customers, essentially improving their relationship with Caltex. This will give them a unique customer experience of engaging with Caltex instead of simply purchasing its products.

This is how Facebook can be used by Caltex to improve its relationships with its customers, so as to differentiate its products from other petrol retail companies!

 

Thank you for reading my project summary! 🙂

 

-Jia Wei

G1 Individual Research Project – LTA

Hey everyone!

Term is ending, and the holidays are just around the corner. Hope you guys are coping well with whatever is left of this hectic school year!

I’ll just jump straight into what I did for my individual research project.

I looked into an organisation which most of us should be familiar with – the Land Transport Authority (LTA). If you do not know what LTA does, than I suggest you get out more often. Anyway, LTA currently operates as a statutory board under the Ministry of Transport, and is in charge of planning, operating and maintaining Singapore’s land transport systems and infrastructure.

1

Through my research, I want to examine how a public sector organisation structures it social media use, especially since such organisations are not motivated by marketing or profit-driven purposes.

For my research on LTA, i noted that it has three main goals which it hopes to achieve. Firstly, it seeks to make public transport the preferred mode of transport for local commuters. Secondly, it wants to ensure that the various transport needs of Singapore’s growing economy and expanding population are met. Finally, LTA aims to commit itself to the nation’s road use by enhancing road networks and improving road safety.

So, with this understanding of LTA, I established my research questions as:
1) How effective is LTA in utilising social media to achieve its three main goals.
2) Using this analysis, how can LTA improve its stakeholder engagement endeavours to attain its objectives?

Through my analysis of LTA’s current use of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, I identified that LTA attempts to engage with its stakeholders and educate them on new initiatives, projects and policies. LTA’s efforts on social media appear to be rather successful as it publishes content that fit well with the characteristics of the various platforms. For instance, Facebook was used to publish detailed info due to its text-focused nature and Twitter was used to disseminate short and impactful messages as it is known to be the fastest way for news to travel nowadays. However, it seems that LTA lacks greatly in interacting with its stakeholders online, usually engaging in one-directional communication with no interest in responding to its stakeholders.

Thus, I proposed that LTA expands its use of social media to include
1) Crowd-sourcing campaigns to gather information for better policymaking

2) Feedback gathering channels to have a better understanding of issues on the ground that allows gaps in public service delivery to be identified

I hope that my suggestions can help LTA move closer to achieving its goals, connecting with the citizenry and showcasing its willingness to be an open and transparent organisation.

Thanks for reading this post and good luck to everyone!

Crystal

G2, Group 2 – Zappos

CEO tony
CEO Tony Hsieh

Research Question:

How has Zappos’ corporate culture driven its social media efforts in building a brand community?

Introduction

Zappos.com Inc. (Zappos), is an online shoe and clothing retailer known for its commitment to providing incredible customer service to create an extremely loyal customer base (Roggio, 2011). Customer satisfaction begins with a business’ employees, for a customer will love and trust a company more when the company is well loved by its employees (Faeth, 2015).

Zappos Corporate Culture

Zappos’ culture emphasizes on high employee engagement – through providing a family-like working environment that is fun and empowering, as well as creating and maintaining a high level of customer engagement – through the provision of assistance and answers to enquiries driven by the main goal of achieving customer satisfaction.

According to Frei & Morriss (2010), what sets CEO Hsieh and his team apart from their competition is their deep awareness that Zappos’ culture is its most important asset. Given that “Service is a by-product of culture” (Zappos’ former chief financial officer as cited in Frei & Morriss, 2010) and that Zappos has a reputation for delivering exceptional customer service, it can thus be inferred that Zappos’ culture of achieving high level of customer satisfaction is not merely a vision set by top management but also deeply entrenched and practiced by its employees.

In return, Zappos is rewarded with satisfied and loyal customers, which translate into positive business results that propelled Zappos from a start-up to a company valued at $1.2 billion within a short span of nine years (Hsieh, 2010). With the employees’ strong awareness and acknowledgement that Zappos’ success is highly attributed to their culture, Zappos’ culture is further reinforced and its manifestation can be observed through its communication to and with customers across its different social media platforms.

Zappos’ Corporate Culture and its influences

Our research aims to determine how Zappos’ corporate culture has led to their social media efforts and success in building a brand community and how they can further strengthen and expand that brand community.

Specifically, we will examine how Zappos’ corporate culture has influenced their  1.emphasis on creating real relationships with their customers, and on 2.empowering employees as powerful brand ambassadors. This is based on the important underlying assumption that customer loyalty and satisfaction are better achieved when employees also love the company, which is the argument postulated by Faeth (2015). In addition, we will also analyse how we can 3.enhance Zappos’ brand image by increasing awareness of their corporate social responsibility efforts.

Ultimately, we will analyse how positive engagement of the 3 above factors (in bold) have affected Zappos’ business outcomes respectively, in terms of impacting customers’ behaviour, increasing employees’ satisfaction and engagement and in boosting the overall image of Zappos.

Research Method

While Zappos employs many social media platforms for their customer engagement activities, we will focus our analysis on Zappos’ use of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. This is because these social media platforms most clearly show the two-way interaction between Zappos and its customers, which will allow us to better understand how Zappos’ culture is manifested, thereby facilitating us in conducting a more meaningful analysis. On top of this, Synthesio, which is used to find out customers’ sentiment, and references to literature review will also be used to supplement our research and analysis.

Value of Study

The value of this study is to explore the drivers of Zappos’ success in their social media use, to identify the social media platforms that have room for improvement and thereafter, to recommend suitable social media strategies that will support Zappos in sustaining its competitive advantages and continue to be the best online service leader and in building their brand community.

For instance, in our analysis of Zappos’ use on social media, we have found that Zappos has very high level of engagement on Twitter and moderate level of engagement on Facebook and comparatively lower engagement on Instagram. We have identified that there is room for improvement for Zappos to better leverage on the benefits that Instagram brings and also to further tap on the large following of 2m fans they have on Facebook. As a result, we will be proposing 3 strategies via Instagram and Facebook to help Zappos increase its level of engagement on these two social media platforms.

zapponians at work
Zapponians at work

G1 – Group 9: Bata

 

Hey guys, here’s a summary of our research on Singapore’s most well-known shoe company, Bata.

If you think that Bata is a local and cheap neighbourhood brand, boy you are so wrong. In fact, Bata is a large, global footwear manufacturer and retailer present in 90 countries and headquartered in Switzerland. So, before you think of Bata as a “Buy and Throw Away” brand, think about all that effort injected into these European styled shoes.

Noting that Singaporeans have a generally negative impression of the Bata brand, we decided to analyse Bata Singapore and attempt to come up with suggestions that can help improve its social media marketing efforts, which are currently weak and ineffective.

Despite Bata being a brand that targets various segments in the market, we feel that Bata can start off by focusing on a particular target audience when establishing a foothold on social media. Since Bata is particularly strong in its product offering for young children, with its Bubblegummers diffusion line and iconic white canvas school shoes, our proposed strategies aim to target the primary purchasers of children footwear. Through primary and secondary research, we uncovered that this group of primary purchasers are young mothers, aged below 40 with one or more children.

Research on young mothers provided us with the following findings:

Bata2

With the selection and understanding of our target audience, we came up with the following objectives:

  1. Assist Bata in increasing its following by young mothers on social media platform
  2. Create engagement opportunities for young mothers on Bata’s social media platforms
  3. Establish brand trust among young mothers in the Bata brand

Hence, to meet our objectives, we propose that Bata ramps up its social media efforts with the key message of being a brand for families, promoting togetherness and positioning itself as a dependable partner in consumers’ family life. This underlying message connects the proposed strategies, which fall under a newly introduced theme titled Bata Families.

Our suggested strategies will be specific to each platform, by concentrating on three social media platforms:

  1. Facebook: #batafamilies discount promotion to inform and attract
  2. Instagram: #batafamilies contest and pass-it-along strategy to encourage sharing and interaction
  3. Bata Mobile Application: user forums, loyalty points and featured bloggers

To conclude, our research aims to assist Bata in building up their social media presence by targeting the young mothers in Singapore. We believe that with our suggestions, Bata can utilise the power of social media and realise its underdeveloped potential to be young mothers’ preferred footwear brand for their children.

We look forward to sharing more about our project with you!

Group members:
Crystal Soh, Nguyen Son Nam, Tan Mei Yu Irina, Tran Que Hien and Yew Shu Hui Amanda

G2 – Group 5: The Book Café

DSC_0036

Hi everyone!

Our group’s target company will be The Book Café, a quaint little café situated conveniently in the heart of Singapore. It prides itself on its large selection of books that customers are free to browse, while enjoying a nice cup of handcrafted coffee in a relaxing ambience suited for customers to unwind in after a long day.

From our research, we have found that The Book Café has great potential to utilise its social media platforms for outreach. At present, they have very few followers and likes on both their Facebook and Instagram pages. Their website is also lacking, with a visually-unappealing interface and outdated content (their last update was Christmas 2013!). Moreover, their website does not provide any platform for interaction between customers or with the café (eg. lack of a forum or a discussion board).

Through our observations, we have identified 3 main selling points that The Book Café can capitalise on to draw new customers, namely:

  • The variety of reading material available to customers
  • A nice relaxing ambience with unique aesthetics
  • Provision of a great place to study and eat

From there, we came up with objectives for the Café, namely:

  • Short term: To increase their social media reach and brand awareness
  • Long term: To develop a sense of brand loyalty towards The Book Café

Given the Café’s selling points and the objectives that were decided upon, we propose the following strategies, which target specific audiences:

  • Strategy 1: Targets young working adults (aged between 25 and 34 years old) that are book fanatics and café-lovers
    • #1 – Posting daily inspirational quotes
    • #2 – #bookedthatquote campaign
  • Strategy 2: Targets tourists/travellers visiting Singapore
    • #1 – Impression management
    • #2 – #PeekaBook campaign
  • Strategy 3: Targets youths (aged between 15 and 25 years old) who enjoy café-hopping
    • #1 – Monthly themed Instagram contest
    • #2 – #readbetweenthelines promotion

We will be sharing more about our strategies during the presentation, so see you in class!

 

Darren Chong, Leong Jia Qin, Loh Jia Wei, Melvin Toh, Tan Wan Ting

Picture credits: http://www.cravingsandwanderlust.com/2011/07/book-cafe-robertson-quay-singapore.html

Facebook introduces new reactions

Hi all!

Facebook recently introduced new reactions to their platform and here’s an article that I think is pretty insightful.

http://www.wired.com/2016/02/advertisers-feel-facebooks-new-reactions-😍/

 

The article describes how advertisers can now use these reactions to identify the reactions of their posts and shares. As social media is often used by many organizations for their marketing efforts and outreach, this new feature will effectively allow the team managing the campaigns to gather feedback. This feature will also provide more individuals who are unwilling to comment, but yet are unwilling to ‘like’ a post express themselves with these emojis. Advertisers can thus accurately identify their outreach and target audience.

Inez