Social Media Chatbots: The Future of Communication

A few weeks back, I mentioned this phenomenon on Chatbots and how it enables brands to connect to consumers through messenging apps (such as Facebook Messenger) instead of social media, and how it is an essential part of reshaping the social economy. After skimming through the internet, I have found the following points to be quite eye opening!

It totally slipped my mind to share it on this site, but better late than never!

What are Chatbots?

In all its essence, it is a piece of software that you chat with to get things done or be entertained. Just think of it as a replacement for all of the apps you have downloaded. For example, you can ask a bot about the weather and temperature instead of going into a weather app itself.

Eventually, chatbots could become your own personal assistant to take care of everything, whether you are getting an Uber or shopping for clothes. Messenging platforms such as Facebook Messenger can even let individual chatbots talk to you about things that are important, such as your flight details (I will elaborate and give an example later in the journal).

All chatbot softwares do not only use robots, as some even of them use humans to help them answer tricky questions. In social media marketing, although chatbots have evolved, their prime functionality remains the same, and that is to improve real-time engagement. Customers are always searching for prompt and ready replies to their comments and queries. The chatbots are designed in such a manner that they are able to answer most of the queries placed by customers, without human intervention. And this helps in bonding a strong relationship with a brand’s customers and potential crowds, without paying for high overheads on staff.

Siri is an example of a bot that’s built into the operating system of the device. Instead of texting, Siri responds only to voice. But, it’s still considered a “chatbot” because it’s conversational. Siri isn’t the smartest of bots because she doesn’t remember much, but with the increasing popularity of chatbots, Apple might be looking to upgrade her soon.

How do they work?

Facebook believe that chatbots can make life easier for their 1.5 billion users and some brands have jumped on board early to test out FB Messenger bots as a way of interacting with customers. For example, KLM is now giving passengers the option to receive flight updates, and boarding passes through FB Messenger.

Once a user has booked a flight, KLM will open up a message thread and send booking confirmations, flight updates, and their boarding pass. Passengers will also be able to chat with KLM customer support directly inside of FB Messenger. This is how it looks like:

Chatbots reduce friction in a customer’s journey and make customer service interactions easier for customers and brands. This could mean that instead of customers turning to public-facing channels like Facebook, or even email, the vast majority of customer support and interaction could come through messaging platforms where users will expect to have everything they need (account information, receipts, order history,) all in one place.

Another theoretically concept of how it could actually look like:

Why Chatbots? Future possibilities:


People are using messenger apps more than they are using social networks. The transition from public social media to chat apps could be the biggest change in internet culture and marketing since social media itself. However, it’s still not clear exactly how brands will be able to maximize the opportunities presented by messaging apps.

While there is no doubt this chatbot-driven social media system is the future, there is still need for improvements before the bots officially take over.

Although chatbots are moving in, and likely to become mainstream within three to five years, humans should still have a place in social media. However, as bots become equipped to handle text content, the human side of brands and consumers will gravitate toward new, richer ways to engage, including virtual and augmented reality.

Some articles you can read if you are interested:

Australia Stakeholder Management Specialist, Penny Townley visit to COMM346

“Social media is a valuable tool not only to identify issues and key stakeholders on a project but also to enhance public participation thereby create positive and solid relationship with them”, said Penny Townley of Penny Townley’s Environment Services.

Ms Townley, COMM346’s honored Guest Speaker (29-30 Sept 2016), flew from Brisbane, Australia to lecture on “Australian infrastructure and social media.”

Throughout her extremely valuable lecture, Ms. Townley shared her more than three decades of experience in the field as an executive leader in communication.  Amongst other aspects she outlined major frameworks for stakeholder engagement models applicable to various projects including the International Association for Public Participation Spectrum. She explained and discussed how social media development has facilitated two-way engagement with key stakeholders. And – along with key guiding principles and frameworks – she elaborated on the role of social media in not only engaging the public, but also reflecting their voice, in the many infrastructure projects occurring such as Australia’s Sydney Metro, Northwest Rail Link and Barangaroo.

Ms Townley focuses on the key value of social media, especially in building understanding about the value of the project, as a listening post and educative communication tool, and in tackling the severity of crisis via social media trending during the disaster.

Of high interest during her extended lecture, Ms. Townley enlightened COMM346 about how digital media tools have contributed to online public or civic engagement needs. An example was the online consultation solution EngagementHQ, dedicated to helping government and private sector organizations to provide meaningful voice to their citizens. In 2015 alone, Bang the Table’s software EngagementHQ was used in 2000+ online citizen participation projects in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. (

Ms Townley also introduced AtHoc, a secure enterprise platform for crisis communication within and across organizations for personnel safety and business resilience. (


Ms. Townley’s work spans infrastructure, environment, planning, education, health, social and professional services, etc. She contributes to the industry’s professional standards and is one of six authors of Valuing Better Engagement, the Consult Australia guide to tendering for engagement services (published December 2013). COMM346 appreciates Penny Townley’s wonderful and generous guest lecture, and with it her sparkling enthusiasm for, and warmth towards young future professionals in academics!

G2 – What Flavour Do You Favour?


Hi guys! Thought I would share one of my favourite campaigns by Cadbury that used social media in a fun and creative way to raise awareness for its Dairy Milk brain in Australia.

Challenge Cadbury was facing: Chocolate industry was getting increasingly saturated and Cadbury was not doing enough to sell its Dairy Milk brand, which was hence becoming boring to consumers.

Consumer Insight: Everyone has a favourite chocolate flavour but they still like trying new flavours.

Big Idea: Create a buzz around people’s favourite flavours and raise awareness of the variety of flavours offered by Cadbury in the process.

Social Media Strategy 

What? Flavour-Matching Facebook-Powered Vending Machine

How? Vending machine’ scans users Facebook profiles and analyses their preferences based on ‘likes’ (e.g. movie; tv shows; singers etc). Based on this analysis, the machine will choose a chocolate flavour that matches your personality.

End Result? A short description on your personality and of course, a free bar of chocolate that Cadbury believes matches your personality.

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 4.40.27 pm.png

Why did this work? 

  • Used Facebook in an engaging and creative manner
  • Generate excitement amongst consumers
  • Integration of various mediums (e.g. TV adverts; print posters; sales promotions; Facebook engagement posts etc)


G2 Group 9 Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Club


Description of our chosen organization

Citi-SMU Financial Literacy club is a student-led club born out of a collaboration between Citi Singapore and Singapore Management University with the support of Citi Foundation, with the aim of advocating financial literacy to young adults in Singapore.

The club grooms students/aspiring changemakers from diverse backgrounds through an official train the trainers’ programme. This programme was designed to empower them with the soft skills and knowledge to become in-house trainers capable of promoting Financial Literacy.


After students have gone through the programme and are certified as trainers, they  subsequently serve as front-line advocates for financial literacy through events & interactions with beneficiaries.

Screen Shot 2016-09-23 at 11.37.26 pm.png

Why did we choose this company?

There are multiple reasons why we chose this company:

  • The club has decent social media presence  – 1193 “likes” on Facebook.
  • The club has allowed us Administrative Access rights for its Facebook Page – we are able to track the progress of our campaigns.
  • From what we have observed, its social media strategy is unrefined. This puts us in a position to provide a lot of value.
  • The club has the financial backing – they have resources to allocate for marketing campaigns.


Our team also strongly identifies with the cause of our client, and we are intrinsically motivated to assist the client to achieve its goals of utilizing social media to promote financial literacy.

As a team, we hope to assist Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Club to achieve its goals through 3 main aspects:

  • Increase Citi-SMU Financial Literacy club’s brand awareness
  • Boost audience engagement across multiple profiles through native marketing
  • Measure the extent of content retention through social media

Our Target Audience

From our organization’s marketing efforts on Facebook, we identified they have three main target audience profiles:


Screen Shot 2016-09-23 at 11.26.25 pm.png===

Main Messages

We are proposing 4 main messages to be delivered to these target audiences.


To SMU Students:

Calling all Aspiring Changemakers interested in learning AND to give back to the community. Join us today!

A call to action for aspiring changemakers to join us in making a difference.

To SMU Students/Young Adults & Potential Beneficiaries

Interested in finding out more about financial management? Our platform is one tailored especially for young adults like you!

We want to deliver relatable, localized, native content for young adults without labelling itself as “Finance”.

To the General Public

Did you know that Credit card loans charge an average of 24% per annum? Stay financially savvy, read our handpicked tips!

We want to deliver specific content in a suitable format i.e listicles to spark debate/ awareness for these issues.

To working professionals/people with expertise

Financially Savvy? We want you to assist us in advocating financial literacy in young

adults for Singapore!

We want to encourage adults with expertise to share their knowledge through our platform and to give them the due recognition.


Suggested platforms

For Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Club, we believe Facebook and LinkedIn would be the main platforms used for social media.


With more than 1.7 billion users worldwide, Facebook is the world’s largest social network. Facebook is an appropriate social media platform for our client because of its young audience. It was reported that 82% of online young adults between the ages of 18 to 29 use Facebook (Facebook, 2016).   

On Facebook, businesses can create a business account and analyze and focus on their target audience. One service that Facebook provides to businesses is Target advertising. By utilizing this service, businesses can track their overall performance and analyze their audience’s personal information and interests. In addition, Facebook’s general features such as Messenger and Fan pages can create a channel where businesses and their audience can directly interact.


LinkedIn is similar to Facebook in that it is a communication medium. As of 2016, there are 450 million active users (Statista, 2016). However, LinkedIn mainly focuses on networking business professionals. The majority of the users tend to be white-collar workers above 30, with educational backgrounds.

Regardless of the size of business, LinkedIn provides tools to help businesses connect with their target audience and raise brand awareness. For example, businesses can create a Company page to market their products and services to their target audience. Businesses can also directly communicate with their audience by engaging in LinkedIn discussions. By joining group discussions, businesses can receive comments about their products and services.

While Facebook is a platform for businesses to communicate with consumers, LinkedIn is a more business-oriented platform, where working professionals interact with each other. Therefore, we have concluded that Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Club could use Facebook as a means to engage with SMU students, young adults, and the general public. LinkedIn, on the other hand, could be used to network with alumni and finance professionals.

Strong presence on both platforms would enable our client to expand and fulfill its goals to raise brand awareness, enhance engagement with its audience, and measure the extent of content retention through social media.

Outreach Map (Facebook/LinkedIn)

Screen Shot 2016-09-23 at 11.33.27 pm.png

Other Potential Platforms

Although it is still in the exploratory stage, our group is planning to conduct further research into native marketing, and perhaps tap into the possibilities of additional platforms such as SGAG, Twitter, Instagram for Business, and Youtube Channels.

Future Plans

Moving forward, we have secured our client’s buy-in – they have graciously allowed us to test our “prototypes” subject to their approvals. We are also currently toying with the thought of using humor for indirect/native and pairing it with Financial literacy – in the form of listicles and memes.

Screen Shot 2016-09-23 at 11.24.52 pm.png
By Aaron, Marcus, Tasuke
Read More »


(G1,Group 9) Hopscotch Bar

Company Profile

Hopscotch by Mixes from Mars is a craft cocktail bar tucked within the clandestine courtyard of former traffic police headquarters, Red Dot Traffic. Started in September 2014, Hopscotch has gone on to become one of Singapore’s more notable craft cocktail bars, with features in publications such as Travel and Leisure Magazine Southeast Asia.

The concept of Hopscotch is based on a single mantra; To deliver a quality and noteworthy customer experience. The drinks concept is for the delivery of craft cocktails with a local twist. Each drink incorporates some form of local element, be it in substance, form, or both. Their cocktails also tend to utilize forms of molecular mixology techniques, which is to modify the textures of certain ingredients for an enhanced gastronomical experience. Besides the cocktails, Hopscotch also bolsters a wide array of local themed shots, which include nostalgic favourites such as the “Bandung shot”, “Ondeh Ondeh shot”, as well as a “Milo Dinosaur shot”

Drawing inspiration from the game, Hopscotch also has a games corner, which features retro games which locals once enjoyed as kids. Some of them include “Jenga”, “Crocodile Dentist” and “Snap”, favourites of patrons looking to have some friendly competition with friends. The bar also features a classic dart board, and a foosball table, which have proven popular with patrons.

A bar is intended as a place to feel comfortable and relaxed, and Hospcotch seeks to do just that through cocktails, the nostalgic games area, stir-fried wok food as well as friendly and outgoing staff. Despite Hopscotch’s poor visibility from a crowd, and it’s rather speakeasy nature, the bar has been rather successful in drawing a good number of regulars.

Usually, the venue is packed on Fridays, Hopscotch, however, faces an issue with drawing a decent crowd on any other day (even Saturdays). Some of this is attributed to the rather obscure location in the heart of the Central Business District, and the lack of a working crowd on Saturdays.


Competitor Analysis


  • Most competitors have larger social media presence in general and greater engagement.

Ideal Customer

Hopscotch’s current customer demographic is formed mostly of young working professionals between 26 and 40 years old, and have a good mix of both males and females. A sizeable portion of these patrons come from the people working nearby in the CBD area.

However, statistics on the bar’s social media page reveals that more than 80% of fans and users engaging its social media platform are from the 18-34 year old age category. This reveals a mismatch between the current crop of customers and the demographic that Hopscotch appeals to. Consequently, this also presents an opportunity to tap on a currently unexplored demographic of late teens and young adults.

Therefore, an ideal Hopscotch customer is an individual aged between 20-40 years old, one who is looking for a unique drinking experience and a no-frills environment to enjoy the company of friends.


Current Marketing Strategies

Hopscotch markets a lot through word of mouth, stemming from the initial networks of the co-owners, and stretching on to include the networks of regular patrons.

Hopscotch also relied upon the strong press coverage on media channels such as “The Straits Times”, “Honey Combers”, and “City Nomads” for their initial crowd.

The flow of articles however, have slowed down significantly. And also due to the influx of many newer bars, the word of mouth marketing process however, has been rather slow. People seem to forget that Hopscotch is present.

On social media front, all of Hopscotch’s platforms are personally managed by the owners and only through Facebook and Instagram. Content includes posts about the staff, drinks, games, promotions,and upcoming events and happenings. The owners currently do not use the Facebook boosting function due to cost.


Social Media: F&B Industry

Most FNB outlets tend to have a social media page. Although less measurable in terms of ROI, many adopters find social media to be rather useful in improving business sales in the long run.

The 2013 Green Hasson Janks Food & Beverage Industry Survey reveals that more than three-quarters (78.9 percent) of executives report that social media is having a significant impact on their businesses.

What sets social media apart from a standard company web site is the two-directional content. More specifically, a company needs to be ready for customers adding their own comments and content.

Some of the reasons FNB companies use social media:

  1. Connect with new potential customers, either through a fan’s networks, or a more cold but targeted network.
  2. Connect with existing customers and fans to induce a larger Long Term Value(LTV) of each customer, by being reminded that the outlet exists, or that the outlet currently has some specials, going on.
  3. The social media channel is also used as an avenue for customers to view products and services, as well as to enquire about information such as operational hours, concept, contact number, and to make reservations. It basically creates a medium for the customer to connect with the business, and vice versa.


Relevance to Business

As a business targeted at the millennial segment of the market, a group of individuals heavily in-tuned with social media, it is by far the most effective means of reaching out to these individuals. With the market currently occupied by many more established names and many other up-and-comers, the tendency to just fade into the masses becomes a pressing problem. Social media will allow Hopscotch to create its own distinct identity of a localised speciality cocktail bar and reach out to potential paying customers through visual content, campaigns and initiatives. Additionally, in such a competitive market, the power of peer reviews cannot be understated. A Paper Review of Credibility of Media Sources found that for mid to high interest group individuals, as our ideal customer would fall under, peer sources are considered more reliable and effective in creating buyer intent. With every Facebook user a potential peer contributor, the peer source review of Hopscotch can go a long way in creating a reputation for the business, as well as a community of followers.


Analysis and Evaluation

1.  Hopscotch has a small online presence

  • It has a strong organic fan-base and engagement, with an average of 30-50 likes per post per 1000 followers. However, it’s reach is still limited because of the lack of volume of people engaged online.
  • It’s current strategy of word of mouth recommendation online (friends, friends of friends liking the page) has been effective in getting an average of 2-4 new likes a day. However, barring a spontaneous viral campaign, this rate of growth is still unsatisfactory for the business to establish its name as a top bar contender. Possible avenue would be to look to paid ads to reach out to potential clients and create a greater social media presence.

2. Visual content like pictures/videos, fail to capture the charm of the bar

  • Visual content generated by the bar is visually dull and lacklustre. Doesn’t catch the eye of users at first glance. Missing out a tremendous opportunity to captivate intended audience, resulting in current audience drop off and failure to capture new audiences. Visual content necessary for self-promotion to new customers and maintenance of current customer interest.
  • Current posts and contents feels robotic. Compared to other bars and FNB outlets, that possess a strong social media following, Hopscotch’s Facebook posts lack variety for its respective audiences. Content like photos of drinks appear too frequently. Users don’t feel compelled to engage these posts as they are too similar and repetitive. Look to alternate posts between the business, information about bar-related articles and personal posts of employees and customers can make the social media page more engaging and diverse.

3. No active promotions or initiatives that can increase fans and engagement

  • Social media platforms currently functions as a tool for Hopscotch to provide insights into the bar. Lacking in calls to action for users to actively engage business online. Promotions and Giveaways are ways to allow customers to actively engage the business and create possible sales conversions in the process.

4. Too few posts/post not made at relevant timings

  • Frequency of post is currently once/twice a week. Lack of constant content creates a void for current users and missed opportunities to engage new audiences. Most B2C businesses currently post minimally 2-3 post per day just to maintain some sort of social media presence. Needs to maintain pace with the competition minimally in order to prevent being forgotten.
  • Posts are currently made at odd hours like 11pm where there is little or no traffic online. Tools like social bakers can be used to track peak traffic periods to manage post timing to maximize customer impressions and potentially engagement. As a bar, the most relevant time to post “alcohol” related post before happy hour (6-7pm) to draw customers in, or late afternoon, possibly after a hangover.

5. Social media manager(Owners) have no time to manage page

  • Efforts on social media has been hindered by owners inability to manage both operations, traditional marketing and social media marketing. (Lack of manpower). Need for a scheduling tool, transfer of emphasis from traditional marketing to social media marketing due to demographic, and investment into a social media publicist to manage the curation and dissemination of content.


Proposed Strategy

1. Research on what content type and social media will best cater to the social media users of Hopscotch Bar.

  • Surveys handed out to customers in the bar as well as a sample poll amongst a group of potential customers will be conducted. Review of user engagement statistics on each individual platform will be monitored for the next month.

2. Integration of content creation tools and change in content creation approach

  • Experiment with good and free to use content creation tools like Re-wording of social media brand message i,e, content to be written to be more conversational, subtle in its promotion, and to overall be more engaging, rather than “Come drink today”, “come drink tomorrow”

3. Comprehensive post schedule

  • To create a content schedule which includes  sample content for up to 3 months, including pictures, best days and times to post and boost, as well as a distribution of content types. Introduction of content scheduling tools such as Postcron to effectively and efficiently create and manage content. 

4. Dissemination of content

  • To initiate a self propagating  campaign to promote the bar via growth hacking at a low cost. Example: Giveaway competition every week. “Simply like and share this post and comment why you love cocktails! One winner will be selected every week to claim a pair of bespoke drinks from us”
  • (Case Study: Smoothie King. Privately held and based out of New Orleans, Smoothie King decided to try a marketing campaign involving Facebook. They posted a contest to win free smoothies for a year. To enter the contest, fans had to “like” its Facebook page and submit a testimonial. This increased its fan base almost 25 percent, with more than 45,000 new connections.)
  • To engage nightlife/F&B bloggers to feature Hopscotch on their social media platforms to boost publicity.
  • Come up with a feedback platform for customers to give their feedback on what they would like to see.


Done by: Roger Yip, Peh Jun Jie, Lemuel Low

G2 || Group 3 || The Singapore Flyer


1. Overview

1.1 Introduction to Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer was opened in 2008, proudly stands asn iconic attraction of Singapore due to the fact that it is the largest Giant Observation Wheel in Asia, standing at 165m tall. It was previously owned by Singapore Flyer Pte Ltd, till 2013 when it was placed under receivership, and later bought over by Straco Corporation Ltd.

1.2 Rationale for Choice

Despite being hailed as an icon of Singapore, the Singapore Flyer ironically underwent bankruptcy which caused it to go under receivership in 2013 . This let-down from their initial grand ambitions can be largely attributed to poor visitor numbers, which is a major source of revenue for the observation wheel. At core, the main challenge for the Singapore Flyer lies in the need to create and sustain its novelty factor, as its main selling point of experiencing a 360 degree view of Singapore can be entirely encaptured in a single visit. Till date, the company has not been able to successfully create a vibrant brand identity shrouding the attraction, as represented by poor visitation numbers (Koh, 2014). Hence, the marketing message of our social media strategies will be focused on generating hype and sustaining the sense of novelty amongst our target market mentioned in (2).

1.3 Project Goal

The dismal profit revenue experienced by the Singapore Flyer is inherently caused by the poor visitor rate suffered. Thus, our project goal is to re-build the flyer’s identity from “boring” and “expensive”, to an experience that provides more than just a plain 360 degree view of the Singapore skyline, and is worth re-visiting for the pleasant experience. With this repositioning, we hope to drive up visitor rate and increase return visits.

  1. Target Audience

As of current, the target segment of the Singapore Flyer is working parents.  However, given the poor response from this current target segment, we believe that the Singapore Flyer should expand its target market to include the Millennials. This particular segment are heavily involved in social media, regularly use social media as a channel to get updated on current trends and news (Pick, 2016) and are also the largest consumer generation. (Solomon, 2014) Moreover, instead of broadly targeting working parents, the organization should narrow down and focus on the target segment of Mothers instead. As reported by Mintel in 2015, 84% of Mothers are key decision makers in the family unit over purchasing decisions. Therefore, our target audience would be millennials and mothers.

  1. Choice of Social Media Platforms

After reviewing their current social media presence in terms of types of platforms, followership, posting patterns, engagement and outreach, we decided to focus on Instagram and Facebook. This is based on the fact that the Singapore Flyer prides themselves in the extravagant views they offer in their capsules, we feel that they should strengthen their social media presence via a more visual appeal. Therefore, we propose Instagram , which is in essence a photo-sharing platform, the most appropriate media platform for them. Daily competitions through the trend of ‘Picture Of the Day’, could be used to engage and interact with the millennials. Through the creation of more valuable content on its Instagram page, not only will this strategy generate a sense of community amongst the target segment of the millennials, it will also increase engagement, build more awareness and enhance the novelty factor of the attraction. This is modelled after the successful marketing strategy of user-generated posts by GoPro, and the present trend of #exploresingapore on Instagram, which encourages users to hashtag or tag pictures containing views of Singapore. The acceptance and embracement of this trend by Singaporeans is reflected by the high following of 81.9k on the Instagram page, ‘Explore Singapore’.

Hence, the focus will be oriented towards stories and experiences shared by families. Furthermore, since Facebook allows for two-way communication, it could be used to allow Mothers to also suggest and vote for events hosted at the Singapore Flyer they would like to have and attend with their families. This would not only build a warm and engaged community of Mothers online, but will help the Flyer create a, through the posting and sharing of testimonials of satisfied families, and online family bundle giveaways. more vibrant eco-system and expand on its identity as just an observation wheel. It is important to note that despite a relatively high following of 472,258 users on their Facebook page, as of present, there is low engagement on the platform, as reflected by the poor rate of likes and comments that each posts generates on average. This illustrates that their current Facebook strategy lacks engagement with followers and vibrancy.

  1. Measure of Effectiveness

Analysis will be based on:

  1. The number of users exposed to the content
  2. The levels of engagement as reflected through mentions, like and followers
  3. How audience have evaluated campaign in terms of advocacy
  4. Sales of the Singapore Flyer per quarter
  1. Conclusion

Ultimately, the strategic use of social media platforms of Instagram and Facebook is aimed to increase the social awareness and community engagement amongst the target market of Mothers and millennials. Essentially, the effectiveness of these strategies are based on its ability to generate greater awareness of the enthrallment of the flyer as an attraction of Singapore.


Prepared by: Deveka Sharma, Rachel Ng Ming Hui & Tonia Viktoria Nelskamp


  1. Solomon, M. (2014, December 29). 2015 Is The Year Of The Millennial Customer: 5 Key Traits These 80 Million Consumers Share. Retrieved September 21, 2016, from: 
  2. Pick, T. (2016, January 21). Best Social Media Marketing Stats and Facts, 47 of Them. Retrieved September 21, 2016, from: 
  1. Koh, Yvone (2014, September 15) Singapore Flyer is Too Costly. Retrieved September 21, 2016, from: 
  1. Mintel (2015) Mum’s Both Queen And King Of The Household As She Leads Purchasing Decisions Across All Categories. Retrieved September 21, 2016:




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



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.


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.


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 8) – Barbie™


Launched in March 1959 by Mattel, Inc., Barbie has sold over a billion dolls and is Mattel’s second largest brand after Fisher-Price. In 2015, sales figures reached an all-time low since 1993, and Barbie‘s attempts to reinvigorate the brand with new initiatives have only resulted in a 23% rise in the second quarter of 2016 – significant, but insufficient to restore Barbie back to its place as an industry giant.

Why Barbie?

Research shows that smart devices are becoming more popular with American children aged 12 and below and are increasingly being used to substitute physical toys. As a result, Barbie is becoming less relevant to their target consumers.

What do they need?

Having ventured into creating their very own Barbie tablet and interactive Hello Barbie doll, which were met with a resounding lack of consumer enthusiasm, Barbie needs to continue searching for ways to remain relevant in today’s technologically advanced society. They can use social media platforms to directly

  • engage consumers in an interactive manner,
  • gain exposure for their social campaigns, and
  • encourage organic discourse about the change in their brand image.

How are they currently meeting these needs?

Current Social Media Tactic #1: Keeping up with Social Trendsmaxresdefault

Barbie has been focusing on breaking stereotypes – more specifically, they are advocating diversity and female empowerment, both of which are prominent current social issues. By doing so, they hope to shake free the controversies that have been dogging at their heels.

Barbie’s New Makeover – a product modification; doll body templates now reflect female shapes of all colours and sizes so as to promote inclusivity and body positivity.

‘You Can Be Anything’ – a viral marketing campaign showing girls that they can take on any career path of their choice.



  • Positively received.
  • Failed to leverage on campaign success to promote product.
  • Breaking free from negative stereotypes about Barbie.
  • Success is potentially short-term, still does not address their root problem.

Current Social Media Tactic #2: Keeping up with Digital TrendsUntitled2.png

Research shows that American children below 12 years of age are increasingly preferring smart devices over physical toys as their mode of play. As a result, Barbie has tried to connect with consumers on social and digital media platforms, but these attempts have met with limited success and have room for improvement.

Dreamtopia – a movie about the endless possibilities inherent in a make-believe fantasy world that led to a spin-off web series with a matching product line.

Life in the Dreamhouse – a web series stylized as a mock reality show available on YouTube, Netflix, and various other streaming media sites.



  • Problem recognition: change in consumer behaviour moving from traditional media consumption to social media consumption.
  • Attempt to achieve fandomization met with limited success.
  • Attempt to leverage on general popularity of digital media.
  • Spin-off game applications are simplistic and lack goal-setting achievements.


Research Question

How can Barbie utilize social and digital media to engage and build relationships with parents such that Barbie products become more relevant to their children?

Project Goal & Target Audience

To build a relationship between Barbie and young American parents aged 25 to 34 (B2C – between Barbie and their primary audience), thereby increasing relevancy of Barbie’s products to young American girls aged 3 to 11 (C2C – between their primary and secondary audience).

Our message? That physical toys and virtual games do not have to be mutually exclusive – both serve to enhance the entertainment experience for adults and children alike and provide increased opportunities for parent-child interaction.

Methods & Strategies

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We plan on creating a game application on the iOS and Android platforms that will adopt an adventure-style storytelling with achievable goals that would allow consumers to feel more emotionally involved in the game and its characters, and thereby, drive brand loyalty and sales figures. To promote this, we will use Snapchat and the tried-and-true channels of Facebook and YouTube to reach out to both new and current consumers alike.

Why Snapchat? Because our primary target user demographic is Snapchat’s fastest growing segment and we can capitalize on that. Snapchat is also one of the few major social media platforms that Barbie has yet to use in their marketing efforts.


  1. Introduce Barbie game-related filters
  2. Pair filters with animation shorts
  3. Use shorts to mimic in-game experience
  4. Provide an easy, direct download link

Aim: Expose consumers to the Barbie brand and the new adventure-based Barbie game, allow them to find out more about what the game is about, and make the consumer download decision-making process simpler and thereby, more attractive.

iOS & Android application

  1. Create adventure-style storytelling with pursuable goals
  2. Tap on psychological need to pursue achievements

Aim: Tie digital engagement to physical sales by creating a new game-related doll line and including QR codes in each product package that will unlock new in-game content and items.

Facebook & YouTube

  1. Create advertisements for the game on YouTube
  2. Show expected in-game experience
  3. Share it on Facebook

Aim: As Barbie’s official Facebook page and YouTube channel have the highest following among their social media accounts, we want to utilize these platforms to reach out to their current consumers.


Barbie’s low product sales as a result of the rising popularity of virtual games on smart devices is not a sign that the company is getting too old to remain an industry giant in doll-making. Rather, it is a sign that Barbie should capitalize on this trend in order to bolster their product sales. To do so, we will be looking at Barbie’s current social media efforts so as to emulate the best parts, improve on the worst parts, and focus their social media efforts to obtain maximum results and sufficiently improved product sales.


G1 (Group 3) – Sentosa Development Corporation


The organization our group has chosen to conduct our project on is Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC). Specifically, we will be assessing their most recent marketing campaign ‘The State of Fun’ by comparing their stated goals and actual results.

To provide some context, the SDC was established in 1972 and is tasked mainly with overseeing the development, management and promotion of Sentosa island – one of Singapore’s key leisure destinations.

Before ‘The State of Fun’ was launched, SDC’s marketing campaign was centered around the slogan ‘Asia’s Favourite Playground’ which ran from 2008 to 2013. While the campaign had successfully attracted more visitors under this banner, the SDC management was also looking for ways to further grow local attendance. Thus, the challenge under the current ‘State of Fun’ campaign launched in 2014 is three-fold: To increase the proportion of local visitors while remaining attractive to key foreign markets such as mainland China, and involving as many island operators as possible.



Project objectives and research question

As the campaign is about to end its run in 2017, our group thought that it is a good opportunity to assess if the campaign has achieved its stated goals. We want to find out if the campaign has achieved its intended outcome via the employment of social media platforms. As it turns out, our preliminary analysis of visitor numbers shows that the proportion of local visitors as well as the total number of visitors have remained the same. Through our project, we seek to find out if SDC should tweak its social media strategy to achieve campaign goals, or to adopt a whole new campaign to better appeal to its target audience.

Proposed methodology

Our group intends to adopt a four-pronged approach in order to provide a robust analysis of SDC’s current social media strategy. The first approach entails the use of viewership metrics – as provided by Socialbakers – to analyze trends in community growth, page posts and interactions. Thereafter, we will use demographic surveys to obtain the general sentiment of the public. This will be supported by qualitative interviews to discuss the reasons behind these sentiments and investigate the existence of any discrepancy against SDC’s intended vision and why. Finally, we aim to conduct content analysis to determine the attitudes of SDC’s stakeholders.


#sentosa #thestateoffun

By: Eh Zhi Hao Dion, Cliff Tank Kian Guan, Yashanti Yap Siew Mei

G2 (Group4) – Browhaus

Image result for browhaus logoHi all!

Our team has decided to work on Browhaus Singapore for our social media analysis project.

Company Background:

Browhaus is a one-stop eyebrow and eyelash grooming salon chain. Since its first store opening in Singapore in 2004 by the Spa Esprit Group, it has now expanded its presence to over 40 outlets in 10 cities worldwide. The salon specialises in brow grooming services, beauty treatments and also develops and sells their own range of beauty products.

Target Audience:

Being the first concept store in Singapore to specialize in Brow and Lash grooming, Browhaus advocates fast, easy and convenient services for its consumers, hence targeting the image conscious urbanites. Moreover, it inculcates an all inclusive culture, reaching out to both genders.


Browhaus faces stiff direct competition from beauty brands Benefit and Shu Uemura. Even though they are largely cosmetics brands, they provide services such as Brow Waxing and 3D Brow Styling and have stronger social media reach as compared to Browhaus. We have identified Benefit and Shu Uemura as our direct competitors as they focus heavily on brow and eye makeup and like Browhaus, they have similar pricing strategies for their brow shaping services.

In addition, there are also numerous low cost alternatives such as Rupini’s and Milly’s that provide similar services at a fraction of the price. Although they provide less specialised services, these small-scaled salons would still pose a significant threat to Browhaus as they capture the market share of price sensitive consumers.


We chose Browhaus as our project topic because for an international beauty brand, their brand social media reach is unsatisfactory and below Singapore industry standards. When compared to its competitors, we found that Browhaus’ social media platforms (mainly, Instagram and Facebook) lack engagement and reach. Moreover, its content lack consistency, relevance and fails to generate consumer interest.

In addition, Browhaus’ target audience are in line with avid users of social media. Hence, incorporating social media strategies is an effective way to fully tap into this emerging trend and maximizing engagement and reach.

Evaluation of current marketing strategies

Browhaus is currently active on the following social media platforms – Twitter (598 Followers), Facebook (11K Likers) and Instagram (3.6K followers), and has an website that is updated regularly. However, it still has a relatively small following on its social media networks, indicating a potential area for improvement through the implementation of new social media engagement activities.

Relevance of Posts

Screen Shot 2016-09-23 at 9.23.08 pm.pngScreen Shot 2016-09-23 at 9.23.30 pm.png

Companies will usually dedicate posts to major current affairs matters and Joseph School winning an Olympic gold medal was definitely a highlight. In congratulating him for the win, we can see the different approaches that Benefit and Browhaus took.

Encouraging Interaction


Instead of providing information, it is important to encourage interaction from the audience and acknowledge their contributions, which is something that Benefit placed a lot of emphasis on – “Tag us at #benefitsg to get featured”. Browhaus only features influencers, which may discourage a bulk of their consumers from posting about their products

Project Goals:

The purpose of this research is to firstly understand the social media behaviours of Browhaus’ Singapore consumers and to study the variety of platforms Browhaus is currently engaged in.

Following which, we aim to devise a comprehensive multi-pronged social media strategy to increase the organic reach and engagement of the brand among our target audience by;

  • Communicating the value of Browhaus and its competitive advantage
  • Increasing emotional connection between Browhaus and its target group thereby strengthening its relationship between potential and existing customers


To achieve the above goals, we aim to tackle the following research questions;

  1. How can Browhaus leverage on social media to effectively communicate its competitive advantage and differentiate itself from its competitors?  
  2. What strategies can Browhaus adopt to create lasting impressions among target segment and achieve a “Browhaus community”?


We will gather information by the following methods:

Firstly, we will gather primary data by conducting observational field studies through surveys within close proximity to the stores to understand the consumer demographics. Furthermore, online surveys to uncover their perceptions of Browhaus, their consumption patterns, as well as their social media habits and behaviors,  will be created and sent to the target audience. In addition, we will conduct focus group sessions session to gain a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of consumers’ sentiments.

Collecting such data will affirm the brand’s target audience demographics, understand their social media habits, and hence allow us to effectively reach them through our strategies.

Next, we will conduct secondary research through social media data analytics on Browhaus’ and their competitors’ social media strategies (their use of influencers, campaigns etc.). Finally, we will analyse research articles and look at past examples of relevant real-life campaigns to create attractive social media strategies for the brand.


In conclusion, we hope that through these recommended strategies, Browhaus would be able to achieve a prominent brand recognition and value in the social media sphere.

By: Guo Su’an, Li Ruichen, Lok Xin Min and Shamini Selvaraju