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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G2 Individual Report – Swiss Watchmaking

Hi everyone! Hope finals have been treating you all well.

I’m Melvin, from G2, and for my individual report, I have decided to look into an industry that I have an interest in: the Swiss watchmaking industry. As such, I decided to look at the Instagram accounts of 3 Swiss watchmaking brands, namely Swatch, Tag Heuer, and Audemars Piguet.

The goal is to find out how Instagram can be used better by brands in the industry to gain wider outreach and build up interactions with customers in order to stand out not just by their product offerings.

After observing the 3 Instagram accounts for 2 weeks, some insights were obtained with regards to the types of content that attracted the most interaction (in the form of likes and comments), such as

  1. Content with darker colour themes tend to resonate better with viewers – possible linkage between feelings of sophistication and dark colours
  2. Content focusing on products rather than other stuff (eg. people) garner more attention – followers want to see products, not other things that they can find elsewhere
  3. Stills (photos) attract more interaction than videos – viewers can fully understand what they are seeing and thus may lead to interaction.

From there, I came up with some recommendations for Audemars Piguet, with the target audience of watch aficionados and working adults with the monetary means to afford an Audemars Piguet watch, as both audience groups would most likely be on social media to seek out like-minded individuals and view more of such content.

  1. Audemars Piguet can upload new varieties of content – currently only watch components and not the finished goods, which viewers would want to see as it is the largest factor in influencing them to make a purchase
  2. Use of brand ambassadors, public-contributed content, and hashtag campaign #APbreaktherules – brand ambassadors could post content of their Audemars Piguet timepieces on their accounts and link them to the offical Instagram profile. Individuals can also upload and submit pictures of them and their timepieces, where Audemars Piguet can choose to upload one such submission on their official page. For both, the hashtag #APbreaktherules can be included in the caption to make it easy for collation of such posts, and it helps to propagate Audemars Piguet’s tagline of “To break the rules, you must first master them”.
  3. Linking of content between social media platforms – Audemars Piguet could upload a teaser image or video on Instagram of how the timepieces are handcrafted, and link it to their YouTube channel or website to increase traffic to their social media platforms.

These recommendations would ultimately lead to increased interaction and build on the brand image of Audemars Piguet and subsequently a loyal follower base of the brand.

Thank you for reading and hope you enjoy your summer!

 

-Melvin

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.

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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

Social media as a double-edged sword

Helloooo everyone!

Came across the Domino’s Pizza example online and found some interesting information related to what was mentioned in class last Saturday. It’s about social media as a double-edged sword which I would like to share it here with everybody.

What happened at Domino’s Pizza?

  • On Easter Sunday in April 2009, two Domino’s employees who were bored working in a North Carolina outlet thought it would be hilarious to post a video of themselves, demonstrating their grotesque adulteration of food.
  • The duo created five videos in total, one of which showed an individual sticking mozzarella cheese up his nose and then blowing the cheese on a sandwich, among other unsanitary and stomach-turning activities.
  • They then uploaded these videos on Youtube, gathering an estimated number of 1 million viewers within two days after the videos surfaced the social media platform.
  • This case clearly reflects issues that arise from employee’s misbehavior leading to a reputational damage of the company, which is further exacerbated by the viral ability of social media.

So, what happens after this incident is exposed?

  • 24 hours after the upload, the Corporate Communications team surveyed the situation and determined that the videos were not a hoax. They managed to identify the rogue employees.
  • By Tuesday (the third day), the team was responding to customers’ queries on Twitter about whether the company knew about the situation, what the company was doing, and why the company had not issued an official statement.
  • By Wednesday (the fourth day), Patrick Doyle, President of Domino’s Pizza, recorded an apology that was then uploaded onto YouTube.
  • This strategy and decision to fight the crisis’ viral nature using YouTube was the tipping point that allowed the company to cull user-generated content from social networking sites and use the platform to distribute information back to users.
  • This case also showed that Domino understood the critical importance of the use of social media, that is, since the crisis occurred online, the organisation had to deal with the management of the crisis via an online presence to reach out to the targeted audience.

I find that what’s interesting about social media is that when there is a bad PR, it can create a powerful whirlwind spreading like wildfire within a short time. Likewise any good news on social media can also spread with a loud bang.

Therefore, social media can be seen as a double-edged sword. If it is used appropriately, the returns is immense; however, any bad PR will spread quickly too.

However, I think that the additional advantage social media has is that it can be used to counter any bad news like what the PR practitioners did in Domino’s case.

The PR practitioners at Domino reacted to adverse publicity using the same medium, YouTube to counter its adversaries. In fact the social media allows for quick response, virtually open 24/7 throughout and its reach is wide and far unlike the printed newspapers or press conferences which only get to publish any communication the next day.

To sum it up, the Domino’s Pizza case questions the efficacy of how social media can be harnessed to produce benefits or harm, just like how we discussed during class that social media can act as a double-edged sword.

I would suggest that Domino’s Pizza could also work on implementing reactive, neutral and proactive social media policies to mitigate future reputational damage to the organisation.

What are your thoughts about the power of social media? Any comments or insights into other cases which show invincibility of the social media?

 

For more information, you may visit:

Young, C. L., & Flowers, A. (2012). Fight viral with viral: A case study of Domino’s Pizza’s crisis communication strategies. Case Studies in Strategic Communication, 1, article 6. Available online: http://cssc.uscannenberg.org/cases/v1/v1art6

 

Thank you for reading my post and have a great week ahead!