G2 [GROUP 12] [UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE]

 

universal-studios-singapore

Introduction to Universal Studios Singapore (USS)

Back in March 2010, Southeast Asia’s first Hollywood movie theme park, Universal Studios Singapore(USS) was opened. Located on Sentosa, Singapore’s designated leisure island, it has proved to be a contributing factor to the success of Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) which is operated by Gentings Singapore. Resorts World Sentosa’s mission is as follows:

“We come to work everyday to provide the most memorable guest experience with innovative and differentiated products and services.”  

In USS, visitors are able to experience cutting-edge rides, attractions and shows based on their favourite blockbuster films and television series. One of its star attraction would have to be Battlestar Galactica which is the world’s tallest duelling roller-coaster. Apart from that, USS also host special annual events such as “Halloween Horror Nights”. In 2016, the theme park was most recognised by TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award as the top amusement park attraction in Asia for the third year in a row, leaving Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park ranked as the second and third respectively.

Why did we select USS?

Despite that, Resorts World Sentosa is not doing well as a whole. For the entire financial year of 2015, Genting Singapore’s net profit slumped 85% and its annual revenue fell 16% year-on-year. This is mainly due to the weak performance in its gaming business (casino) with its revenue falling at 38% from the 2nd quarter of 2014 to 2nd quarter of 2015. Growth in non-gaming revenues seem to have increased and help offset some of the declines in the gaming side of the business but it is clearly not enough. The number of USS visitors have increased through the quarters but visitor’s spending has decreased.  

Business problem faced by RWS  – Gaming revenues are down.

Solution – Boost profits in non-gaming sectors and thus, USS is the centrepiece of their strategy.

Hence, our main project goal is to increase profits of USS. This can be done via 2 ways which is to increase visitors to USS and to increase visitor’s spending in USS. Based on our observations regarding USS social media presence, we believe that USS have not utilise social media to increase its brand awareness as well as increase its competitive edge against other place of attractions.

Therefore, our research topic is:

‘How can Universal Studios Singapore utilise social media technologies to increase its brand awareness to international visitors and increase its competitive edge against other tourist attractions?”

Current social media presence

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Observations:

Universal Studios Singapore currently does not have its own official website and social media page such as Facebook and Instagram. It is featured in ‘Resorts World Sentosa’ official website together with other RWS attractions, hotels and spas and casino. Information found in the website mainly focuses on the rides and shows in USS. However, there is a lack of information regarding other aspects of USS such as the restaurants and gift shops there.  

For Facebook, Universal Studios Singapore has an unofficial page with about 97,000 Likes as well as customer feedback/reviews and tagged photos. This suggests that social media users would engage quite substantially with an official page if it were to be created. As compared to its regional competitor, Hong Kong Disneyland, the number of likes for HK Disneyland official facebook page is way higher which is about 10 times more.

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Overall, one of USS’s weakness is its inactive and weak social networking and online presence. There is also a lack of exposure in advertising media.

Main messages to be delivered

Going back to the mission of the company, “We come to work everyday to provide the most memorable guest experience with innovative and differentiated products and services.”

USS failed to incorporate this mission in its social media strategies. There are no platforms for visitors to share their memorable experience with USS. Therefore, the main message to be delivered is “COME TO USS TO CREATE MEMORABLE MOMENTS WITH YOUR LOVED ONES”

We would also incorporate ‘’Universal Studios Singapore is Asia’s best theme park.” as stated by TripAdvisor in our strategy. This in turn, will create awareness of the recognition held by USS in which many people are unaware of.   

In addition, we would also share more on what is available in USS apart from its rides and shows.

Method of research on target audience

As the broader mass market consumer base of USS is nearing saturation, this proposal will focuses on tourists. Through a survey, we aim to discover psychological determinants in regards to theme park, what do they spent on in theme parks other than the rides as well as their  media consumption activities.

Method of marketing

Our group will be using a mixed approach in which to allow USS to expand presence and engagement on current platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TripAdvisor etc. We would also explore new venues of localised and popular social media outlets such as Weibo, WeChat, etc. Connecting with users around the region via these previously untapped platforms can connect USS with new consumer bases.

 Conclusion

In conclusion, we hope to come out with strategies to bring Universal Studios Singapore to the forefront of tourists’ minds when visiting Singapore, and to expand its regional brand image awareness.

(G2) Group 5 – FUJIFILM Singapore (Capturing moments one step at a time)

Have any of you ever been envious of social media influencers’ flawless Instagram feeds and blog posts? Fact is, most of them go beyond Apple/Android devices and use physical cameras to get that alluring effect and high definition photographs. If you’re looking for an option to get a physical camera, why not look to Fujifilm?

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Background of company

Fujifilm Corporation, Japan  was founded in 1934 as Japan’s pioneering photographic film maker, while Fujifilm Singapore, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujifilm Corporation, Japan, has been present in Singapore for more than 20 years. The principal activities of the Company consist of Document Solutions (47%), Information Solutions (39%), and Imaging Solutions (14%). We will focus on Fujifilm’s Imaging Solutions aspect for our project. 

Fujifilm’s Competitors:

We have identified Fujifilm Singapore’s competitors that are also in the market of providing imaging solutions to be Nikon, Canon and Olympus. All four companies are Japanese corporations with headquarters in Singapore, with one of their principal business activities being camera and lens manufacturing.

Why did we choose to do on this topic and particularly on Fujifilm Singapore?

1. Rise of Social Media

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Photo sharing sites have gained popularity exponentially over the years, with top sites having a high number of users all over the world.

  • Facebook: 1,712 million
  • Tumblr: 555 million
  • Instagram: 500 million
  • Twitter: 313 million

*Figures as of September 2016

Great emphasis has been placed on photo and video sharing on the various social media sites in recent years. In 2014, Facebook has also announced its plans to focus on sharing largely through video content by 2019. (Check this out here: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2844852/facebook-will-be-mostly-video-in-5-years-zuckerberg-says.html)

2. Impact of Social Media on Photography

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With the rise of social media, opportunities abound for people to explore the field of photography, regardless of whether they are novices or experts. There is an observed trend of people who were initially non-enthusiasts, now having a newfound interest in photography. This emergence of social media platforms has also given rise to ‘social media influencers’ with aesthetically attractive news feeds.

These major improvements in technology have also resulted in smartphones gaining traction in the recent decade. Consequently, the initial large digital camera business has reached a mature state and profitability has been undone quickly by smartphone cameras.

3. Fujifilm Singapore’s Lack of Activity on Social Media Platforms

For most millennials, sharing through posting photos and videos on their social media accounts has been an integral part of their lives. Hence, social media platforms would therefore be a very effective way of reaching out to them. However, through preliminary research, we discovered that Fujifilm barely utilizes its various social media platforms effectively to engage consumers. This is especially so when compared to their competitors and even Fujifilm’s subsidiaries in other countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. As such, we have identified great potential in leveraging on social media to improve Fujifilm’s outreach, which leads us to our research question below.

Facebook:

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Instagram:

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Which brings us to our research question:

How can Fujifilm Singapore leverage on social media to widen its consumer base and shift the preferences of Millennials* from using cameras on handheld devices to Fujifilm’s camera products?

*For the purposes of this project, we have defined Millennials to be anyone aged between 18-25 in 2016.

Project Goals

Based on the problems we identified, here are our two main goals for this project

1. Changing tastes and preferences

This goal is targeted at social media users who desire “insta-worthy” photographs but are currently utilising only their Smartphone cameras to achieve this function. This is because they value the convenience and immediacy of an “all-in-one” handheld device and perceive Smartphone cameras as sufficient to meet their needs. However, our aim is to change this mindset and convince social media users of the value of a digital camera as superior to a handheld device.

2. Persuading potential buyers to choose Fujifilm

This goal targets non-enthusiasts who have discovered a newfound interest in photography through social media platforms and are considering investing in a digital camera. They possess the purchasing power and willingness but are undecided on their choice of brand. Our aim is to persuade them of the value that Fujifilm can offer, leading to the purchase decision of Fujifilm cameras over other competitor brands.

Value of Study

Our group believes that our study will bring value in these ways:

  1. Value to Fujifilm Singapore: Build better engagement with Fujifilm’s customers and increase brand awareness of Fujifilm cameras and their product attributes, thereby increasing sales of the cameras
  2. Value to Consumers: Provide consumers with more options to pursue photography apart from their use of handheld devices such as mobile phones.
  3. Value to Future Researchers: To explore how increased brand awareness via social media can lead to increased sales for companies in the digital imaging industry.

Methodology:

To seek answers to answer our research question, both primary and secondary research will be conducted, as detailed below.

For primary research methods, we will be surveying millennials on their:

  1. Current perception of Fujifilm Singapore
  2. Needs and preferences/what interests them
  3. Most preferred and used medium (i.e. Instagram, Facebook) and platform for capturing photos nowadays (i.e. mobile phones/digital cameras)

We will also conduct a focus group discussion to allow millennials to test out a physical camera and see what they like about it

As for secondary research, we will be conducting in-depth research on:

  1. Millennials’ spending behaviour, needs and preferences, what they are influenced by, what they value
  2. Fujifilm’s current social media activities
  3. Social media activities that competitors are engaging in

To assess the effectiveness of our proposed solutions, we will be relying on the following metrics:

  1. Increase in engagement rates
  • Target: 20,000 likes on Facebook 
(with 50% increase in engagement)
as well as 2,000 followers on Instagram
  1. Increase in brand recall
  • Target: 50% higher recall rate
  • Method: Comparison of results from pre- and post- campaign surveys
  1. Higher click-through rate of website
  • Target: 50% higher click-through rate
  1. Increase in sales of Fujifilm camera products
  • Target: 15% increase in sales revenue

 

Conclusion

Although Fujifilm Singapore has the capabilities to meet the needs of its target consumers, it is not utilising readily accessible mediums such as Facebook and Instagram to leverage on the current trends. Our team hopes that our proposal and future recommendations will allow Fujifilm Singapore to reach out to Millennials and revive the trend of physical cameras.

 

 

 

 

KFC IS LISTENING

Abstract

According to the National Restaurant Association, the growth of the restaurant industry has tremendous growth potential and just in 2014 alone, the restaurant-industry sales are projected to total $683.4 billion from the previous $586.7. Restaurants are an essential part of people’s life with 9 out of 10 consumers stating that they enjoy going to restaurants (National Restaurant Industry, 2015).

With Yum! Brand being the world’s largest restaurant companies, this report seeks to focus on how KFC, one of their major licensed brand, could leverage on the other two major brands: Pizza Hut and Taco Bell to further strengthen and bring Yum! Brands to greater heights.

KFC Corporation

KFC Corporation was founded in 1929 by Colonel Harland Sanders whom started with demonstrations with pressure cookers. Never did he realize that his trial and error with chickens and herbs with pressure cookers would led him to the famous Colonel secret recipe now used in all KFC stores. KFC then expanded exponentially via franchising and currently includes more than 15,000 restaurants in more than 120 countries (Houston, 2016). In Singapore alone, KFC currently has 76 outlets all over the different parts of Singapore

Financial Stability

According to their Annual Report in 2014, KFC’s franchising business model is proven to be incredibly strong, having double digits operating profit growth. KFC even set a new record for their international development by opening nearly 670 international units in 2014 (Brand, 2016).

With Yum! Brand being the world’s largest restaurant companies and KFC being one of the major licensed brands by operating profit (29%), it would be significant to analyse KFC’s social media strategies and how can KFC leverage on the other two major brands: Pizza Hut and Taco Bell to further strengthen and bring Yum! Brands to greater heights.

Social Media Analysis

Three main KFC social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram & Twitter (Fig. 3) will be analysed from 25 March to 8-April (2 weeks) to observe KFC’s frequency in posting, popularity among followers as well as the effectiveness towards their main goals of product customization, innovation and customer engagement (Brand, Yum! Brand Annual Report, 2016).

Interestingly, KFC’s content strategy in all three platforms do not vary much and most of their post in three different platforms are the same. However, as the amount of users present in each platform varies, their likes and shares for the same post on the various social media platform varies as well.

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Data Collection
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KFC Social Media

Overall Marketing Strategy

2 weeks of data collection and observation of KFC’s content strategy in social media, observations were made towards KFC’s content strategy via social media. KFC’s main content strategy is the promotion of their unique chicken series via family feast promotions. KFC makes use of high quality marketing and images to lure customers to try out their newly launched products.

KFC’s average rate of posting is around 1.06 post/day and the average number of likes varies across different platforms. On Instagram, the average number of likes is 163, for Facebook, 155 likes while twitter only at 13 likes (Fig 4). Despite KFC having huge amount of followers across the different platforms, it appeared that KFC might not be hitting their goal of customer’s engagement.

Public interest

After analysing KFC’s main social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram as well as their Twitter account, it appears that the public is more inclined towards two main segments of KFC’s postings. Firstly, the new chicken series and secondly, their breakfast series.

Looking at their new products launched almost every 2 months, Parmesan Chicken, Yang Yeum Chicken, Shoyuzu Chicken and Red Hot Chicken, it can be observed that KFC’s followers on their social media have high tendency to comment more on newly launched products as well as tagging their friends to inform them about the new launch. The engagement rate of newly launch products are much higher than other posts relating to Breakfast menu or other regular menu items. Comments such as “Favourite chicken so far”, “Bring this back” are seen across all their unique products. This gives KFC a sense of the public’s acceptance towards their newly launched products and how they should further engage their loyal customers.

Summary of main findings

Analysing KFC’s social media platforms, KFC’s social media strategy of using pictures to lure customers in trying out their new products is good and feasible, however what they are lacking is customers’ engagement as well as creative marketing promotions.

KFC lacks ongoing conversations with customers and most of their posts are one-directional without much engagement with customers.

Proposed Social Media Campaign

Looking at the high popularity for new launched products, KFC can invite customers to co-create the new product together. In this proposed social media campaign, the target market will be on customers who are open to experiences and active on social media.

Campaign Plan

KFC will be uploading a post on recent hot topics and allowing customers to provide suggestions on “what flavour of chicken does this remind you of?”

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This campaign #KFCislistening hopes to garner more suggestions and ideas from loyal customers in terms of their creative chicken flavours. Since KFC’s target customers are teenagers and young adults, by posting hot topics such as the recent Korean Drama “Descendants of the Sun” it will definitely garner huge attention from the public. New flavours such as “Korean snowing chicken or even Korean

Furthermore, KFC’s discounts and promotions has always been a great marketing strategy for them to attract loyal customers, this campaign aims to attract customers by providing them with $100 vouchers for the most creative chicken flavour. Furthermore, the new flavour will be launched the following week and will last about a week. New flavours such as “Korean snowing chicken” or even “Korean spicy chicken” can be considered.

With this campaign, it will definitely attract a lot of attention from people who watched this drama before and most importantly, it will be able to attract loyal as well as new customers sparked by the curiosity of the latest drama and KFC’s new marketing campaign. Apart from that, hot topics other than dramas are posted every week.

However, one of the foreseeable obstacle is that people might not be receptive towards certain new products or some may comment irrelevant comments on the post diluting the focus of the marketing campaign. Furthermore, some may even doubt and complain about the fairness of results. Hence KFC has to be transparent in terms of their criteria as well as transparent in the posting of results.

Thank you!

-Dorothy Lee

Zalora (G2 Individual Project)

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Introduction

Maybe some of you may have heard of Zalora, or even are loyal customers to them. Zalora is an online fashion retailer in Asia-Pacific region, including Singapore. Basically, we are able to shop and purchase fashion items from Zalora online and have them delivered to us. Zalora has seen a rapid growth, as much as 70% increase in their sales revenue in one year! BUT, unfortunately the company suffered EUR 80 million in the same year as well. Why is this so? Because, as much as the sales revenue increased, it did not match up the sales forecast of the company. Hence, the company is “growing” faster (in terms of spending money to expand itself) than it can generate profits. Part of the reason of the slow growth can be attributed from the fact that there is a lack of brand awareness here in Singapore! (as mentioned by Zalora themself in their annual reports)

Hence, this brings me to my research question:

How can Zalora effectively use social media to increase brand awareness in Singapore?

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Analysis of social media

So for my paper, I’ve identified Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to do my analysis on.

Facebook

Zalora have quite a large number of followers on Facebook, with 171,000 likes on their Singapore page. Having such a large number will allow Zalora to potentially engage the large consumer base with the brand. However, the interaction on Facebook is VERY low. They have over 170 thousand followers, but on average, their posts have less than 10 likes and comments. (legit, go check out their page)

Instagram

Their Instagram have about 26,100 followers and over 2,600 posts. The level engagement on Instagram is slightly better. This could be because, unlike Facebook, they actually post curated content on Instagram. This would better enable their audience to relate to the content. On Instagram, they reached out to influencers such as Joakim Gomez, 987FM DJ and producer, and several few smaller fashion bloggers. This is good because the influencers’ reach is actually larger than Zalora’s. (for eg. the same picture posted by Zalora and Gomez, but Gomez picture have over 3x more than Zalora) However again, engagement level is still low on Instagram. On average, every post have only about 0 to 3 comments.

Twitter

Zalora’s Twitter have about 6,800 followers and over 16 thousand tweets.

Out of the 16,000 tweets, about…. 95% is replies to their customers. And majority of these replies are pretty much customer services. Customers post a question (more often a complain) on Twitter and tag @Zalorasingapore, and Zalora very actively replies to these tweets promptly! This is good because a lot of customers actually receive prompt assistance via Twitter. However, that’s all about what their Twitter is doing. Mainly, it is just a customer service platform. Out of the 6 weeks of analysis, they only posted 10 non-replies tweet, thats on average 1 to 2 tweet a day. That definitely will not engage its audience at all.

But Twitter have a lot of potential to increase brand awareness for Zalora. Generated from Synthesio, Twitter is the social media platform with the most social media activity of Zalora. But why then is their follower count so low? Further analysis revealed that most of the Zalora mentions on Twitter, are by users who are NOT following Zalora currently.

Recommendations

Out of all 3 platforms, it seems that Twitter is currently the platform that is weakest in social media marketing, and hence holds the highest potential. I will also recommend minor strategy for Facebook and Instagram as well.

Twitter

A two pronged approach is taken here.

Short aim: Increase number of followers on Twitter account

Long aim: Increases brand awareness and engagement among its customer

In the short run, Twitter should use influencers to quickly and greatly increase its account awareness. So for example, they can get Gomez to also start promoting for them on Twitter. Also, Zalora should make use of Twitter’s promoted post service and get their account known to those active Twitter users who are talking about Zalora, but are not following them.

In the long run, I recommend Zalora to transform their Twitter from a “customer service platform” into a “fashion platform”. The main issue on Twitter is the lack of new content. By introducing #ZaloraInspire, Zalora can post about 8 pictures daily, and these pictures will feature people wearing Zalora’s apparels. This fashion platform will be a platform where their audience and customers will be able to engage themselves by viewing the pictures for inspiration on what new outfit to wear or buy.

zalorainspire

Facebook

Their Facebook have a large number of followers, and I think Zalora should take advantage of it. In the analysis, it was observed that ‘give away’ posts seen a significant increase in their user engagement (everyone want the free stuff, haha). Hence, I recommend Facebook to have a ‘share cap’ for their give-away post. For example, before Zalora issue out a $20 e-voucher to everyone, the particular post have to be shared a total of 5,000 times. As more users share the post on their Facebook wall, Zalora will be able to tap on each individual’s network and increase its brand awareness.

 

Instagram

We established that people like free stuff, so similarly in Instagram, I recommend Zalora to kick start with their ZaloraAwards initiative. This ZaloraAwards is an on-going competition where users send in their picture with them wearing Zalora’s apparels. Zalora then will determine a winner, and post their picture on their social media accounts. Winners not only get a monetary incentive, but also recognition. UGC posted by Zalora will also gain the trust and engagement of the users.

So these are my three recommendations for Zalora! They are pretty much summarised in this post, so some details may be left out. Please feel free to give me your opinions regarding them, or ask any questions!

 

Thank you for reading!!

Jeremy Pek Qing Wei (G2)

G2 – Instagram (MDS, LB, and Osmose)

Research Question:

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.

 

 

Malaysian Airlines Berhad: Social Media Research Report

Hi everyone, my name is De Zhong and my research report is on Malaysia Airlines Berhad!

Photo on 1-23-16 at 3.15 AM #2

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.

Dolce & Gabbana Candy Apple Red

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!

yay-54383329058

 

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.

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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?

This’ll happen.

AAAAA COMPLAINT

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:

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11.8% is way too much.

Let me give you this analogy.

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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.

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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!

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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!

FAKE POST

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?

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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 🙂

G2 Individual Project – Rebecca Minkoff

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Rebecca Minkoff is a premium global lifestyle brand founded by Rebecca Minkoff and Uri Minkoff in 2005 (Rebecca Minkoff, 2016). The brand, based in New York, carries a wide range of accessible luxury bags, accessories, jewelry, footwear and apparel. However, their core business is bags. They have three domestic retail stores and two international retail stores in Hong Kong and Seoul, Korea. Their products are also distributed in over 900 stores and shipped to over 46 countries worldwide.

How can fashion brand, Rebecca Minkoff drive brand awareness in the Asian market with the use of social media?

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G2 Individual Report – Mid-priced Car Brands

[Ong Yu Jun, G2]

Introduction

My project research focuses on the benefits Instagram brings to businesses that have products that are not as visually appealing as competitors. For the purposes of analysis and scoping, this research will focus on the automobile industry, and in particular household brands Honda, Toyota and Nissan.

Research Question

This research shall explore how mid market brands leverage themselves against competitors on social media platform Instagram, following which recommendations will be given on how Toyota in particular should focus and align its Instagram strategy to achieve brand love. The research question therefore is this; how can Toyota, a mid range automobile manufacturer, create brand engagement on Instagram to improve brand love?

Strengths of Instagram

Great for Brands With Specific Product Offerings

Across all three brands, it was clear that brands with a very clear and specific product offering, such as a particular model of car outperformed other competitors, and also its own posts, which did not feature its core products. Although peripheral posts commemorating special holidays could be interspersed with other posts, it was clear even such special dates coupled with product offerings generated the highest engagement. Take for example the Nissan GTR valentine’s post, which generated massive likes, compared to the Easter post with no car and just a rabbit. Companies with strong and clear champion products will find it easier to leverage on Instagram, whilst companies whose services are less tangible will find it hard to capture it well and leverage their Instagram base.

Unique Hashtag Strategies

It was clear that companies that leveraged on quirky and tongue-in-cheek hash tags could leverage on generating word-of-mouth messages via its customer base more easily. Take for example Nissan, which used its hash tags like #OMGTR combining the popular acronym “OMG” and its famous GTR model, as well as #TueZday combining Tuesday with the Z models it offered. Generic hash tags just mentioning the cars, such as #hondaaccord and #hondacivic do not fully leverage on the uniqueness of the hashtag strategy.

Personalized Tagging Strategies

Despite the lack of share-ability of Instagram posts, users have devised a way to overcome this by tagging friends in comments instead. This however seems to be be triggered on two factors; when a post is deemed as engaging enough, along with a friend that the post is relevant for. Brands that have interesting enough content can leverage on this by using call-to-actions for such content, and ask users to tag a friend in the comments below. This will create further engagement of posts, along with organically build the follower base if new referrals choose to follow the page.

Weaknesses of Instagram

Limited Reach Via Videos

Amongst the three companies analyzed, all three showed a limited number of videos in the two week observed period. One possible reason for the preference of images over videos for Instagram posts may be the limited video editing functions available for video. Inasmuch as the platform still allows for filters, much more variables have to be managed in pushing out a professional video. Another possible reason for a lack of videos could be due to user behaviour itself. With almost all of its users accessing Instagram via mobile, it is highly probable that users browsing in public, yet may or may not have earphones plugged in. This takes away a dimension of video that is extremely crucial, the audio, which may induce users to skip videos instead. On the other hand, Facebook users are more likely to be browsing from their desktops or laptops, and are more likely to be browsing in private, leading to higher views for videos. Other factors that also come into play are the limitations of data without wifi, as well as much lower capabilities of a smartphone compared to a computer in battery life, video graphics quality display and more.

Difficulty In Communicating Intangibles

There is limited amount of real estate given for each brand to communicate, with Instagram’s maximum characters set at 2200 characters but users get cut off after 3 lines of text. With this comes limited capacity for brands to tell a story or convey a benefit of a product to consumers. Brands such as Toyota has difficulty communicating the benefits of its Prius and energy efficiency, with users falling back on the post image for information more than the text. Instagram therefore can only be leveraged upon as a supplement to other marketing communications for more intrinsic products. This will probably be an issue as well for B2B businesses or products that are more complex. Once brands are able to overcome the initial education gap, it can then fully use Instagram to supplement its efforts.

Suggestions for Toyota

Focus on Tried and Tested Products

Toyota should move away from attempting to communicate benefits to its consumers via Instagram, given the poor response for models such as the Prius. It should instead focus on tried and tested products under its wing, such as the Toyota Camry or the Toyota Corolla. Leveraging on favorable perceptions of its more favorable products, it would more likely lead to overall brand love for consumers towards the Toyota brand. Instagram should therefore be a platform to target car lovers rather than energy efficient, environmentally conscious niche users.

 

Leverage On Creative Hashtag Strategies

Toyota should also adopt a creative hashtag approach that was used by Nissan. This creates uniqueness and creativity that is ascribed to the brand. Examples of possible hash tags are #CorollaComfort or #CamryConfidence. This can passively associate a quality along with the car models that are offered. The #OMGTR created associations with amazement and wonder every time a user sees a GTR, and it would be beneficial for Toyota to associate strong associations with its cars via Instagram hash tags.

 

Fully Harness Call-To-Action Via Comments

Toyota can also harness a call-to-action for users to tag a friend in post comments. Behaviour of tagging a friend in the comments for Toyota has shown to be effective in its best performing comments post of a Camry doing a reverse drift. Toyota should therefore strive to create engaging content that are relevant to users enough for them to tag their friends. This will therefore help to organically grow the base of followers on Instagram.

Conclusion

Despite there being some inherent disadvantages for brands that do not have visually engaging and intriguing products, Instagram still remains a viable channel for mid tiered brands to reach their consumers. Strategies such as hashtag strategies and call-to-actions can be utilized to fully capitalize on user engagement. Brands should however learn from social media analytics and continually push out tried and tested products that are focused rather than broad to keep consumer top-of-mind awareness.

 

Alex and Ani (By Amira Liyana, G1)

Alex and Ani (A&A), founded in 2004 by Carolyn Rafaelian, was built around her core beliefs in positive energy, symbolism and spirituality. It specializes in manufacturing, designing and selling jewellery such as necklaces, rings and their signature expandable bangles. A&A embodies a unique business model that incorporates corporate consciousness in every direction. Believing in the power of giving, it channels resources to charity organizations and initiated Charity By Design (CBD), a campaign encompassing the idea of spreading positive energy globally.

 

My research paper compromises of 2 research questions:
Research Question #1: How is Alex and Ani presently using its social media platforms to garner support for its philanthropic efforts?

Research Question #2: How is Alex and Ani engaging its customers, thus creating an affinity for the brand?

I will be examining and analysing only 3 of A&A’s SMPs. I have chosen to focus on its Facebook- and Instagram page as well as its YouTube channel. The rationale for choosing those 3 platforms is because of the differing engagement levels and the drastic variation in the number of Facebook page likes, Instagram followers and YouTube channel subscribers.

 

Below is an infographic that capture the essence of my research project.

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