Group 5 – Suunto Singapore

Hi everyone!

For our project, our team has decided to work on Suunto Singapore.
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Company Background:

Founded in 1936, Suunto Oy is a designer and manufacturer of sports watches, dive computers, and sports instruments for adventurers worldwide. Headquartered in Vantaa, Finland, Suunto’s product line ranges from premium watches to accessories that aid in various sports such as climbing, hiking, triathlon, and many others. Suunto is a subsidiary of Amer Sports Corp. In Singapore, Suunto’s merchandise is available at sports and watch retailers such as World Sports and Royal Sporting House, just to name a few.

Why we chose Suunto:

Internationally, Suunto is a highly recognised brand in its field. Its first GPS sports watch with optical heart rate measurement, the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR, was awarded the Runner’s World Editor’s Pick in January 2017. Other awards won by Suunto include The Outdoor Retailer ‘Best in Show’ Gear for 2016 by Gear Junkie, Editor’s Choice 2016 Award by Competitor magazine and Best New Gear Award: Outdoor Retailer Winter 2016 by GearInstitute, among many others.

Suunto also has a substantial global following, with 382,245 fans on its global Facebook page (@Suunto). These fans receive frequent updates regarding Suunto’s partnerships, brand ambassadors, and product information.

Singapore is a promising market for Suunto, as wearable electronics are becoming increasingly popular. Around 73,000 units of smart wearables were sold in 2016, amounting to a 69% increase in retail volume. As for activity wearables, 2016 saw a 28% growth in retail volume. It has been noted that the strong demand for wearable electronics stems from the sharing of exercise habits and fitness on social media. Consumers are constantly on social media, with Singapore having the highest penetration rate of mobile phones and internet connectivity. In their respective social communities, sports and fitness enthusiasts are the main sharers of fitness information among friends on social media. This indicates the complementary nature between wearable technology and social media.

Despite the growing trend for active lifestyles and high social and mobile connectivity in Singapore, Suunto has been unable to fulfill its business potential in the tech wearables segment, even though their products and services are not only on par with but may even be superior to those of its competitors. On its social media platforms, Suunto is lagging behind its competitors in terms of reach, engagement, and interaction on those social media platforms within the Singapore market.

In what ways can Social Media help Suunto improve their performance in the Singapore market?

Suunto Singapore’s social media presence is markedly less established when compared to its main competitor, Garmin, on both Facebook and Instagram. While Suunto has 380,000+ followers on its old Facebook page (@SgSuunto) and 2000+ followers on its new Facebook page (@Singapore.Suunto), they still trail behind Garmin, which has 1,400,000+ followers on its Singapore page (@GarminSG). Also, it is interesting to note that although Suunto Singapore changed its Facebook page to @Singapore.Suunto in mid-2016, its older page has remained as the sole verified account.

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When comparing across their Instagram accounts, Garmin far outperforms Suunto in the Singapore market. Suunto has a main account with 125,000+ followers (@suunto), but does not have a Singapore-based account. Meanwhile, not only does Garmin have a main account with 261,000+ followers (@garmin), but it also has a dedicated Singapore account with 2,400+ followers (@garminsg), that publishes more targeted, localised content in tandem with their Singapore Facebook page.

Additionally, Suunto’s current Facebook page only features general event and product promotion details with no co-creation of content, thus, resulting in an unappealing, one-way communication strategy. On the other hand, Garmin shares articles and fitness tidbits and showcase active promotion of their ambassadors in addition to providing consumers with the ambassadors’ lifestyle and training insights in order to facilitate interaction with its consumers.

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Therefore, Suunto should capitalise on the complementary relationship between the technological nature of its product and the proliferation of social media in today’s society to reap the benefits of positive network effects arising from the strong sense of community and high levels of density and closeness among members of the fitness community. Hence, an improved social media presence with meaningful relationships built with its target consumers will help translate to higher sales.

Project Goals:

Our team intends to utilise social media to increase awareness of Suunto’s differentiated product offerings amongst our target audience, the fitness enthusiasts, by emphasizing Suunto’s rich brand heritage and history of making high precision dive equipment that is rugged, durable, and accurate.

Next, as sales in the industry of fitness wearables are mainly driven by perceptions, our team aims to improve consumer perceptions of Suunto, by positioning it as a top-tier sports watch maker and increasing Suunto’s engagement with its target consumer group through social media.

In addition, in order to better connect with potential consumers, our team aims to improve the content of Suunto’s existing Facebook and Instagram pages by fostering an interactive two-way relationship between Suunto and their consumers.

Lastly, our team will tap into the positive network effects of existing sports communities, such as running groups on Facebook, that are already present on the various social media platforms and leverage on their strong, tight-knit community to enhance customer relations and experience and ultimately increase brand loyalty.

In summary, our goals are to:

  1.     Increase awareness amongst target audience groups of Suunto’s differentiated product offerings and brand heritage
  2.       Achieve greater reach
  3.       Improve engagement
  4.       Increase positive online sentiment

Main Messages:

Suunto’s messages will be aimed at building positive perceptions of the brand and encouraging consumers to share the brand among their peers with similar interests.

  1. Suunto brings people to greater heights – whether in breaking new records, overcoming challenges or conquering fears. As Suunto sells products that mainly cater to people taking part in adventurous or extreme sports, the company should build an image that reflects courage and ambition.
  2. Suunto is a community that connects sportsmen and adventurers from all over Singapore. There can be shared reviews, interviews on users of Suunto and introduction to Suunto’s current community website. Users can also go beyond sharing about Suunto products by sharing adventuring tips and other aspects of a Suunto user’s lifestyle.
  3. Suunto products are of high quality and benefit the user in many ways.

Identifying and Understanding Suunto’s Target Audience:

In order to identify the target audience, we will first conduct observational studies at selected watch and sporting goods retailers that carry Suunto’s merchandise. Following, we will seek to confirm our observations and obtain deeper insights from the sales associates through interviews to identify Suunto’s customer profile. Finally, we will conduct on-the-ground interviews with fitness enthusiasts at sports events like triathlons and trail runs.

To further understand the characteristics and behaviours of Suunto’s customer, we will interview consumers that fit Suunto’s customer profile either through in-depth interviews or through focus groups discussions to better understand their perception of Suunto and their awareness of Suunto’s social media presence in Singapore vis-a-vis its competitors. Secondary research will also be conducted for social media data analytics.

Feasible Media Platform

Suunto’s core customer segment consists of fitness enthusiasts who are performance-driven and are typically in their early twenties to mid-thirties. This age group also represents the main users of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.  According to TNS, 85% of 16 to 24-year-olds use Instagram in Asia Pacific, with Singapore’s penetration rate for Instagram at 63%.  Also, according to eMarketer, the projected number of Facebook users in Singapore 2017 is 3.2 million, which represents 54% of total population and 93% of total social media users.

Measuring effectiveness:

As our two main goals lie in extending Suunto’s reach and increasing engagement through social media, we have developed a set of metrics in order to analyze the effectiveness of using Facebook and Instagram to deliver our messages.

1.Instagram:

  • Reach:

o        Number of followers on account

  • Engagement:

o        Number of comments and likes on post

o        Number of mentions

o        Number of user-generated content for engagement campaign

o        Use of hashtags

  •  Sentiment:

o        Number of positive comments

  1. Facebook:
  • Reach:

o        Number of fans on account

  •  Engagement:

o        Number of people who liked, shared or commented on post

o        Number of video views

  •  Sentiment:

o        Number of positive comments

Conclusion:

In conclusion, our team believes that social media can not only increase awareness and reach, but also improve engagement, and generate positive sentiment towards Suunto Singapore. Given the high quality of Suunto products and its reputation as a trusted brand in the wearable sports technology industry, we believe that Suunto’s weakness lies in its underutilization of social media. This is especially apparent given the strong demand for wearable sports technology in Singapore and the high social media use among fitness enthusiasts in Singapore. Through messages promoting the Suunto lifestyle and building a virtual community around the brand, our team hopes to achieve Suunto’s business goals while benefitting Singapore’s sportsmen.

(Done By: Theodora, Nicole, Samantha, Jun Yong, Crystal)

(G1) Group 6’s Project Proposal: Ohhmybox

Ohhmybox (OMB) is a startup company that was established 8 months ago. OMB provides monthly subscription boxes for the “Modern Gentleman” and is currently the first of its kind in Singapore. Boxes are designed according to monthly themes and contain facial products, grooming essentials and accessories like socks and ties.

Even though subscription box service is not an entirely new concept in Singapore, OMB is fairly unknown. A further analysis of their social media platforms revealed:

  1. Lack of awareness and community on their pages

Startups often face resource constraints and are forced to maximize their advertising outreach at low costs. As a result, even though OMB constantly updates and provide sponsored content on their page, as compared to 2 other male subscription box services, their page is lacking in brand awareness.

Their Instagram page is also severely lacking in authentic follows, with a bulk of its 1,499 followers coming from bots and fellow e-commerce stores. Clearly, OMB can do much more in terms of gaining an organic community.

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  1. Visuals not adequately used to communicate deals and promotions  

OMB constantly updates their social media with upcoming promotions and exclusive deals, yet these promotions are not accompanied with attention-grabbing pictures. This could also be why their posts are often met with less than 10 likes, contributing to its low awareness on Facebook.

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OMB’s target audience includes:

  • Existing customers: 18-35 in age, as found out from an interview with the founder
  • Potential customers: Millennial males, including students and corporate professionals
  • Secondary target audience: Females who intend to buy OMB as gifts for their male friends    

As millennials of this age range are usually active on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, we believe they can each play a different role in OMB’s social media strategy.

Our project goals:

  • Inform millennial males and other potential customers of the awareness of such a lifestyle brand
  • Educate them on how their subscription service works, and establishing OMB as a top-of-mind lifestyle brand for males
  • Engage in conversations and promotions to drive participation on their page

Through social media channels, we hope to convey the overarching brand message of OMB being a “one-stop-shop for the modern gentlemen”. We also aim to establish OMB as a lifestyle brand which provides practical and trendy products and help its customers dress for success.

Group 9 – The Book Cafe

Introduction to The Book Cafe

The Book Café is a book-themed café that provides a great hangout place for its guests with its relaxing, casual and cosy atmosphere.Well-equipped with a huge array of magazines, books, foreign and local newspapers, electrical power-points for laptop users, free wireless internet access and a photocopier, and all day breakfast our café have became a hot-spot for students as well as working adults.

Since opening in September 2000, The Book Café has played host to a series of cocktail parties, club meetings, product launches and various private events. This event planning service cater to both personal and corporate entertainment needs.

The indoor dining area resembles a large living room with big inviting sofas, soft lights and bookshelves to complement its intimate interior that allows guests to dine-in with comfort. Al-fresco dining is also available in The Book Café.

Located at the Martin Road which is away from the hustle and bustle of the city, The Book Café is just the right place to hold your for first dates, chill-out sessions, families’ gatherings and even business lunches.

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Target Audience

Young millennials : 19 – 35 years

Born between 1980-2000, these millennials happen to be the most tech savvy & have the most spending power.

3 Specific Groups

Book lovers: With the emergence of digital print, millennials are sticking with printed books and almost every 2 out of 5 people are book lovers. A book theme cafe is the perfect spot for this customer group.

Students: Students today are turning away from their homes and libraries for study spaces and are shifting towards cafes. Cafes that are able to tap into this have been able to increase their earnings.
Freelancers: With electrical power-points for laptop users, free wireless internet access and a photocopier, this cafe is a hot-spot for working adults –  especially freelancers who don’t have a fixed office place to work from.

Project Goals to be Fulfilled 

1. Increase awareness of the brand through word-of-mouth

2. Increase responsiveness to positive and negative feedback – crisis management

3. Increase interesting content and aesthetics in all social media sites

4. Transform audience from watchers to producers

5. Build sustainable social media channels

Feasible Media Platforms

  • Facebook
  • Website
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Review based sites

Metrics

Exposure

  • Facebook – Page views, fan count and likes on their posts
  • Twitter – Number of followers and retweets
  • Instagram – Number of followers, likes
  • Review-based sites – Number of reviews, and likes
  • Website – Page views

Engagement

  • Facebook – Number of shares and comments on postsTwitter – Number of replies, retweets, hashtags used, number of compliments / complaints   
  • Twitter – Number of replies, retweets, hashtags used, number of compliments/ complaints
  • Instagram – Number of comments, shares, bookmarks, check-ins at cafe location, hashtags related to the business
  • Review-based sites – Comments, shares, number of click-thrus /  view-thrus from review websites to company websites
  • Website – Number of people who utilize the chat function

Influence

  • Facebook & Instagram – number of people who tagged their friends in a post and friends who replied their friends’ comments, quality of comments e.g. “let’s go”
  • Twitter – number of tweets that feature users considering a visit to the cafe
  • Review-based sites – number of visitors from review sites clicking through and asking about company operations or food items

Action

  • Facebook – number of check-ins at the cafe locations and quality of reviews
  • Twitter – number of users updating their status to reflect their experience at the cafe
  • Instagram – number of check-ins at the cafe locations and quality of captions and replies to their friends who commented
  • Review-based sites – number of people who use the promo code from review sites
  • Website – number of people who make reservations

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Group 9 (Justine, Stephanie, Grace, Rithika, Moeno)

G7 SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) Project Proposal

SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) is a statutory board constituted in 2016 that falls under the purview of the Ministry of Education (MOE) of Singapore. SkillsFuture is a national movement to promote lifelong learning among Singaporeans with the aim of creating an advanced economy and inclusive society. The need for a coordinated effort to drive and implement SkillsFuture underlies the formation of SSG.

The nature of this new statutory board is multidisciplinary, and a large amount of resources and focus has been dedicated by the government to ensure its success. We are intrigued by the importance of this national endeavour, and recognise the importance of an effective communications strategy to achieve the objective of widespread adoption by the population.

Additionally, a recent report has confirmed our hypothesis that utilisation of SkillsFuture resources by the 25-29 age group is the lowest among all age groups at 16% (http://www.ssg-wsg.gov.sg/new-and-announcements/08_Jan_2017.html). Given the ubiquity of social media among the same age group, we are presented with the opportunity to devise strategies that leverage the power of social media that can remedy the low take-up rate.

We plan to conduct focus groups, surveys, and in-depth interviews among current and prospective university graduates to get our fingers on the pulse of the characteristics and behaviours of our target audience, particularly in relation to the implementation of SkillsFuture so far. Awareness levels and perceptions will be gauged to determine the type of social media strategies to be adopted.

Subsequently, the feasibility of the media platform on which we deliver the organisation’s message will be decided along three criteria – the nature and length of the content, its suitability in relation to the image alignment of SkillsFuture, and the preferences and behavioural tendencies of our target audience.

The effectiveness of the implementation will ideally be measured by several key performance indicators (KPIs), which will be selected based on the strategies chosen and the objectives targeted. We will be most concerned with the increase in interest levels in the SkillsFuture programmes that result directly from the social media strategies adopted – however, this metric might be hard to measure given the complexity in influence attribution. These objectives will be ascertained at a later date after consultation with an SSG representative.

We hope that through this project we gain a keener understanding of social media strategy implementation in a wide-scale context and a deeper appreciation for the complexities involved in such efforts.

Group 3 – Breast Feeding Friends

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Hello all, we have chosen Breast Feeding Friends as our organization for this COMM346 project. Through this blog post, we will bring you through the views towards public breastfeeding, an organization which is involved in the advocation of public breastfeeding, their goals, and the difficulties, our group’s plans to help the organization overcome the hurdles and achieve their targets. Thus, without further ado, let us present to you: BFFsg.

Who are Breast Feeding Friends?

Breast Feeding Friends (BFF) is a non-profit organization who wishes to educate the public about breastfeeding and eventually cultivate a new generation of open-mindedness. BFF believes that breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural act, and should not be subjected to stigmatization in the society as well as the corporate world. Thus, they have collaborated with cafés in Singapore who have pledged to welcome breastfeeding moms in their venues and to raise awareness among their own customers.

Why did we choose BFF?

What BFF believes in inspires us greatly and we too, feel that breastfeeding mothers should not be criticized or feel ashamed for doing something that is natural and intrinsic in humans: to feed their babies. It is a noble cause that should be widely supported yet, in reality, awareness among the Singaporean society is not very extensive. If such a meaningful campaign were to succeed, it brings greater hope for others who are stigmatized against in Singapore, because inclusiveness can be inculcated in our society.

Furthermore, our group strongly recommends more aggressive social media strategies for raising awareness of this cause, as social media can give the organization a greater push towards its goals.

Who are the target audiences?

First and foremost, the most pertinent audience for BFF would be the public and customers of the cafes whom BFF collaborates with. This is because the main goal of BFF is to achieve an inclusive society where there is no stigma against mothers who breastfeed in public. Thus, we should strive to eliminate the biases in Singaporeans before we can move towards a more comfortable environment for breastfeeding mothers.

Secondly, we will appeal to the breastfeeding mothers in Singapore. It is necessary to assure mothers that it is safe to breastfeed in public and will no longer be subjected to scrutiny if they were to do so because we now have cafes who welcome such mothers with open arms.

Evaluating BFF’s Current Social Media Strategy

Conducting an analysis of BFF’s social networks and campaigns, we have found that their outreach is below satisfactory. A BFF Facebook page and a blog are their only active social media platforms. While Facebook videos of public figures speaking about the cause and experiences of breastfeeding mothers have been shared, they have not been very extensive in their outreach, barely garnering a few likes and shares. Currently, they have only 2,154 people following this page.

Recently, they have also used an Instagram hashtag: #BFFsg to encourage their audience to share about experiences as a breastfeeding mother or stories they have heard of. Ironically, the organization does not have an official Instagram account and this would run counter to the strategy of using an Instagram hashtag. We have also noticed that many others have used the hashtag #BFFsg irrelevant to the cause, and this might be due to the hashtag not being unique and could be interpreted differently, such as “Best Friends Forever SG(Singapore)”.

The BFF blog is also infrequently updated, the latest post being on the 28th March 2016. While the blog is meant for nursing mothers to gain tips for nursing/pumping in public as well as for mothers to contribute their own input as well, the purpose has not been very well achieved. This is perhaps due to a lack in the number of mothers who possess knowledge of such a blog in combination with the organization itself inadequately and inconsistently prompting their audience to voice out.

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The Main Message We Wish to Promote in Our Strategy

The group will thus propose the main message of our social media strategy which we believe will greatly help BFF achieve their goals using social media.

#1: YES, it is legal in Singapore for mothers to breastfeed in public.

#2: Many F&B outlets have pledged with BFF to welcome breastfeeding moms into their branches.

#3: No one should feel ashamed about public breastfeeding, for it is a beautiful act of nature.

How are we going to gather data on our target audiences?

  • Conduct a sample size survey on the target audience – consumers of cafes, restaurants etc.
  • Gather information from research papers and previously conducted surveys
  • Conduct small focus group meetings to get a general sense of what they know and think of breastfeeding in public

What platforms do we plan to use?

Looking at the organization’s goals which include: Moving towards an inclusive society, creating a network of support and listening to the community. We have tailored our project goals precisely to these three goals. To move towards an inclusive society, we aim to create and expand awareness for BFF’s cause. Creating a network of support would require us to extend BFF’s network of pledged outlets and to move beyond F&B outlets if possible. As for our last project goal, we recommend that BFF engage more intensively in gathering views and feedback from the community. The diagram below further illustrates this connection.

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We have selected Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Whatsapp as our chosen social media platform to help achieve these goals. While some of these may be tailored to a specific goal, they are not mutually exclusive and a comprehensive use of all these platforms will bring us closer to the overarching objective of raising awareness.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we hope that we can inspire and educate more Singaporeans about public breastfeeding and come together to provide a better environment for breastfeeding mothers, no matter how small the effort. Therefore, for BFF, a social media strategy would be imperative in achieving their goals.

Group 4 – Singapore Junior Chefs Club

  • Reason for choosing this topic

To help them improve their Social Media Platforms due to two basic points.

1. a rise in popularity of food videos

2. a competitive area to work on creating content.

  • The way SOCIAL MEDIA help out the organization on their problems/ issues

Let more people know about SJCC

  • Specific goals

Raise awareness(increase interest & attention to the organization and its activities)

Improve the content (quantity and quality)

Keep the interest of people on SJCC in the long run

Increase activity in the group (Sign ups, likes, shares)

No. of discussions

Event/Posts participants

  • Main messages

Awareness of club to young chefs, convey the benefits of SJCC

  • Ways to understand target audience & behaviors/characteristics

In-depth interviews with SJCC marketing staffs & SJCC members

Social Analytic Tools

Experiments

  • Feasible media platform

Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn or Jobstreet

  • Standards for analyzing effectiveness of potential media channels

No. of shares/comments/ likes

No. of sponsors who approach club

No. of sign ups

No. of discussions

Jetstar Asia – G1 -Group 8

  • 1.      Background and Analysis of Jetstar Asia
    1.1 Organization Overview

    Jetstar Asia Airways, launched in December 2004, is a low-cost airline based in Singapore, managed by Newstar Holdings Pty Ltd which is owned jointly by Singapore Westbrook Investments and Qantas Group. The company runs under the Jetstar group’s umbrella. It has a mission to “offer all day, every day low fares to enable more people to fly to more places, more often” (Jetstar Airways, 2015). Currently, it provides services to 22 destinations across the Asia Pacific region with its 18 A320 aircraft. The airline has achieved several industry and customer awards, such as placed 4th in the Best Low-Cost Airlines in Asia category in the 2016 World Airline Awards.

     

    1.2 Situational Analysis

    1.2.1 Low Cost Airline Industries

    In recent years, there has been a pent-up demand generated by the rising stream of middle-class consumers flying with low cost carrier (LCC) airlines across Asia. This was due to the increased demand for value for money among the passengers, so that they are able to spend their budget more on accommodation, shopping and dining. The LCC airline is attractive to price-sensitive customers such as young, leisure travellers (Snyder, 2014).
    To achieve competitive advantages in the midst of increased competition in LCCs industry, understanding and adapting customer’s demands are important factors to survive in this highly competitive world as this will lead to customer satisfaction. Reliability, responsiveness and empathy are important dimensions to achieve that customer satisfaction (Kim & Lee, 2011; Snyder, 2014). Therefore, LCC airlines are continuously improving its customer service to provide high service quality which in turn will improve customer satisfaction, leading to customers’ loyalty and retention. By doing so, this will directly affect the business performance, profitability and sustained growth of the airlines.

    1.2.2      Jetstar Asia

    According to Jetstar Pacific Airlines Marketing Department 2014’s survey result, service quality which consists of service performance and reputation occupies 71.6% on air ticket purchasing decision (Snyder, 2014). However, the service quality performance of the Jetstar brands has deteriorated (Snyder, 2014; Qantas, 2015). This was evidenced by low Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is a proxy for gauging the customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s product or service and the customer’s loyalty to the brand (Qantas, 2015). The poor service quality mainly comes from the soft service which represents the performance of the front line employees such as the customer service employees’ ability in handling problems in the event of delayed or cancelled flights (Snyder, 2014). Furthermore, one study showed that the average response time of Jetstar Asia’s social media account is relatively slow compared to other low cost airlines such as Tigerair Singapore and AirAsia (Kalaiarasan, Appannan & Doraisamy, 2015).
    Currently, Jetstar Asia has been slow in response and insincere to customer complaints on social media such as Facebook and Instagram, which mostly were about poor customer service they faced while flying with airline. There are also separate blogs and websites for customers to complain about negative experiences with the airline which could lead to a negative word-of-mouth effect (Appendix A – Figures 1 & 2). Some example of the customers’ experiences will be the last minute cancellation, delay status, unhelpful and rude staff and baggage loss. Hence, Jetstar Asia suffered low costumer’s satisfaction as there are many criticisms, leading to loss of customer trust and good image, which could potentially erode its sales.

    1.3 Competitors Analysis of Social Media Strategy

    Jetstar Asia’s competitors are low budget airlines in Singapore market, namely Tigerair, AirAsia and Scoot. We will be examining Jetstar Asia and its competitors’ social media strategies to evaluate their respective strengths and weaknesses.


    Jetstar Asia’s Social Media Strategy

    Jetstar Asia has a significant shift in marketing spending as 40% of its budget is allocated for marketing on social media platforms (Jetstar Airways, 2011). This shows that the marketing focus of the company will shift to social media platforms. However, the lack of its effort in managing the reputation on these platforms, such as Facebook, has resulted in numerous complaints. This would in turn affect other customers’ decisions when they use the social media (Digital Influence Lab, 2016) which ultimately affect the business.
    There are also areas in which the airline has done well in its social media communication. For instance, its latest digital media marketing strategy involves inviting aspiring travel bloggers to share their travel dreams in an online video contest. It also held a social media competition which the winners received a once-in-a-lifetime trip. The response to both of the strategies were overwhelming.

     

    Tigerair’s Social Media Strategy

    Tigerair is more active in different social media platforms in different countries. Not only it looks far to expand their logo brand, but it also tries to create and communicate unique travel experiences for its customers (Tiger Airways, 2016)
    AirAsia’s Social Media Strategy

    Through an external agency, Publicis Mojo, AirAsia does their social media marketing to create viral contents while staying relevant to what AirAsia intended to promote (Majur, 2013).


    Scoot’s Social Media Strategy

    Scoot has actively sought feedback and suggestions from fans on their Facebook page on different aspects of their product offerings (Tan, 2012). Its social media strategies place a great emphasis on customers’ engagement by keeping fans involved in the brands’ activities to remain relevant and stay ahead of competitors.
    Insights drawn from competitors’ strategies analysis

    We observe that competitors are utilising social media in the ways that are more in line with customers’ expectations such as engaging customers in a two-way communication. Hence, to remain competitive and stay ahead in the airline industry, Jetstar Asia needs to rebrand its strategies.
     

    1.4 Research Question

    Based on the competitive landscape and the current problems that Jetstar Asia faces, the research question is: How can Jetstar Asia make changes to its current social media strategies to improve its image?

2. Critical Analysis and Evaluation of Social Media Strategy

2.1 Sentiment Analysis

As our focus is to measure the user sentiments which reflect customer satisfaction towards the brand, Jetstar Asia’s Facebook visitor posts were monitored manually from August to October 2016.

 

Of the total of 368 user comments during the period monitored, 43% of them shared their negative experiences with Jetstar Asia (Appendix B). Most of the comments were about complaints the travel disruptions such as delays, cancellations, unhelpful contact centre, problems on booking, mishandled baggage.

 

Although Jetstar Asia replied most of the comments, however, the company merely provided standardised reply in most complaint situations. As such, we feel that the company has not effectively addressed the individual concerns and negative sentiments on its social media by answering the customers’ complaints more personally and sincerely which are important for the success of a service company.

2.2. Promotion Strategy Focus

Figure 1: Sales-focused post of Jetstar Asia

Analysis of Jetstar Asia’s social media platforms showed that the airline’s posts are primarily marketing-focused with the purpose of boosting sales. It mainly posts pictures of discounts or promotions (Figure 1). Although the promotion was welcomed by the customers, its reach was limited. The promotion was not synchronized across all of its social media so it did not draw much customers’ attention. Furthermore, all of Jetstar Asia’s marketing posts on Facebook are replicated on other platforms, showing airline’s little effort in differentiating its postings to leverage on the different functions provided by the social media platforms.

 

From the above analysis, we feel that customers will be more engaged in its sales if there is a platform for customers to share and discuss with fellow customers. There is also a potential to gain more media exposure if the company creates more well designed photos and posts.

Figure 2: Selfie competition post (PR-focused) of Jetstar Asia


We have observed that there is a higher customer engagement when the company posts more PR-related and value-adding contents. One such example is the selfie competition (Figure 2). This shows that airline should continue to engage customers through competitions instead of sales-focused posts. Its posts are still lacking as the contents are not as visually appealing as competitors’ posts. Hence, it should improve its post contents on social media.

2.3 Content Analysis

Using Socialbakers as our social media analytic tool, we have done content analysis on Jetstar Asia and its LCC peers – Tigerair and AirAsia. On sales promotion-related posts, Jetstar Asia’s posts are very wordy and lack the visual appeal to attract people (Appendix C – Figure 1). According to Breene (2013), people have a short attention span and thus, eye-catching headings and summarized information are crucial to attract people’s attention. Hence, Jetstar Asia should design more well-edited social media posts with clearer information.
Although Jetstar Asia has attractive sales, its posts fail to attract the customers’ interest. On the other hand, AirAsia and Tigerair’s sales promotion-related posts have attractive headings (Appendix C – Figures 2 & 3). For AirAsia specifically, its content is very clear and concise which is really helpful for the social media users to acquire and share the information with their family, colleagues and friends.
Moreover, Socialbakers’ analysis has revealed that the most engaging posts for Jetstar Asia are those that engage customers through competitions followed by informational post such as things-to-do in its destinations (Appendix D – Figures 1 & 2). This is in line with our own observation of Jetstar Asia’s Facebook page that these two types of posts generated the most interaction between the company and its customers. Also, competitors’ most engaging posts with the highest number of interactions are those that call for interaction from customers and not those that are sales-driven. Since all these posts have the common themes of being interactive and personalized, we can incorporate them in our social media strategies.

3. Impact on Business due to Current Problems

The significant shift in marketing spending shows Jetstar group’s increased focus on social media and acknowledges the significance of social and digital media as a marketing tool. Jetstar Asia’s ventures have been hailed as the long-term growth engine for its parent company, Qantas. However, the latest financial data shows Jetstar Asia has struggled to record strong financial results (Qantas, 2015). 

Qantas group consists of Jetstar group and Qantas cargo. Jetstar group’s revenue contributes 49% of the total revenue of Qantas, and among the Jetstar group itself, Jetstar Asia has a significant revenue contribution. According to Qantas Annual Reports (Year Ending 30 June), the group revenue has dropped by 71.6% in the past 8 years (Figure 3). One of the contributory factors is due to poor service quality (Qantas, 2015). Thus, Jetstar Asia is not doing well as company expects and the annual growth of Jetstar Asia is declining sharply. If this poor performance continues to persist, we estimate that the group’s revenue would be further affected.

 

 

4. Proposed Social Media Strategies

4.1 Main Objectives

Figure 4: A summary of the main objectives

4.1.1 Short-term goal 1: To handle and alleviate the negative perceptions and emotions associated to the airline due to complaints

The situational analysis revealed that Jetstar Asia is not being transparent with its customers and unresponsive to customers’ complaints. These negative complaints when left unaddressed could spiral out of control. There is a need for the airline to be more open as a business and to better manage these complaints, specifically by consolidating them in another channel to have better control and organisation. Furthermore, there is also a need to monitor the feedbacks regularly and take prompt actions to reduce customer dissatisfactions.

4.1.2 Short-term goal 2: To improve customers’ attitudes towards the airline by creating positive sentiments

After addressing customers’ concerns, the airline needs to re-connect with its customers, and improve their perceptions towards the brand. Key to achieve this is to get to the basic of what had made it appealing in the first place and re-ignite the passion it had attracted from the customers. The objective is to offset negative customer experiences and remind customers about other good aspects of the airline by appealing to their pathos, thereby generating positive sentiments and word-of-mouth in the process.


4.1.3 Long-term goal 3: To improve the airline’s long term brand image to have a sustainable business

In the long run, it is important to put in place measures to signify the commitment to a change in its customer service. Low cost carrier business is highly competitive and there is a low switching cost for customers. Hence, to strengthen customers’ loyalty towards the brand, airline needs to establish a brand community.

4.2 Target Audience

4.2.1 Demographics

We have chosen youths aged 18-24 and young working adults with middle income who are in the age group of 25-34 as the target group for implementing proposed strategies. Analysis of social media landscape in Singapore shows that 74% of Singaporeans uses social media regularly and 31% of those users are between 25 and 34 years old and 28% between 15-24 years (Appendix E – Figure 1) (Digital Influence Lab, 2016).

4.2.2 Social Media Platform

According to Singapore Business Review, there are more than 2.8 million Facebook users in Singapore. The age group that has the highest usage of Facebook is currently 25-34 with total of 896,128 users, followed by the users in the age of 18-24 (Singapore Business Review, 2012). This is followed by YouTube and Instagram (Appendix E – Figure 2). Hence, we will be mainly using Facebook and YouTube for our proposed strategies.


4.3 Proposed Strategies

4.3.1 Short-term strategy 1: A Fresh Start

To better handle and alleviate the negative perceptions resulting from the complaints, we suggest to set up a “AfreshJETSTART” forum.

Rationale and literature support

The emergence of social media has altered the way customers communicate word-of-mouth (WOM) information. In the past, customers shared experiences in person with a limited number of social contacts. Today, social media allow them to share their experiences with more people (Lin, Fan & Chau, 2014). As such, WOM communication has a significant influence on the network members of their purchasing decision on product and services (Gregoire, Salle & Tripp, 2014). In particular, negative word-of-mouth communication can negatively affect the attitudes, purchasing intentions and brand’s image (Balaji, Khong & Chong, 2016). Hence, it is crucial that affected brands such as Jetstar Asia are attentive to online complaints, take prompt action to resolve them through frequent monitoring on forums. This would aid to reduce customer discontent and prove that the airline cares and listens to customers’ concerns.
Message strategy

Through this strategy, we want to drive home the following key messages with common themes of being interactive and transparent.

Key messages
  1. Inform and provide customers on follow-up plans
  2. Build trust with customers by being transparent about the problems
  3. Build rapport with customers by addressing complaints promptly
  4. Communication of actions taken by airline to resolve complaints
  5. Share about improvement in customer satisfaction

  

Platform

The forum will be embedded in our proposed Jetstar Asia’s website and some of its contents will be shared on Facebook page.

Features and benefits

Feature 1: Forum discussion classified by complaint topics

Currently, there exists different websites for customers to write complaints apart from Facebook page. Also at Facebook, customers write complaints at random posts and some of them are repeated. Hence, current situation makes it difficult for airline to address these concerns and causes various rumours about the brand to go largely unchallenged. To solve this, we propose a forum to consolidate the complaints classified by categories to improve airline’s response time (Appendix F – Figure 1). Customers who face similar problems can click on the relevant thread to check for the airline’s response (Appendix F – Figure 2). It also enables the airline to filter and prioritise the category that requires immediate attention. For instance, due to volcano eruption warnings in Indonesia, scheduled flights are cancelled and ‘Cancelled Flights’ section would be prioritised over others. This allows the airline to address urgent issues quickly and mitigate potential customer dissatisfactions.

 

Feature 2: Display of actions taken by airline

We have observed that airline tends to give standardized responses to customers’ complaints, without addressing individual customer’s real concerns. Thus, for each post, we propose to provide personalised responses as personalization is proven to improve customer relationships (Appendix F – Figure 3).
Furthermore, for each post, we propose to have a “Tracker” which will show the actions taken by airline to address the issue. Displaying a progress status helps the airline to prove that it is serious about resolving complaints and is not merely paying “lip service”. Tracker also features the countdown of time estimated to respond to feedback and provide follow-up plans (Appendix F – Figure 4). This assures the customers that they are well taken care of by the airline and the burden of inconvenience or paying additional accommodation fees do not fall on them. Also, this is a more transparent approach as compared to its usual Facebook response to get in touch via email, suggesting that airline does not want to be upfront with its customers and prefer to settle things behind closed doors.
Feature 3: Sharing of improvement in customer satisfaction

Below each post, a text box would be provided for customers to share about how prompt actions by airline have benefited them (Appendix F – Figure 5). Once the issues have been addressed, Jetstar Asia could screenshot and post detailed descriptions of the actions taken, accompanied by customers’ positive testimonials on Facebook.

 

Key Performance Indicators

The intended outcome of the strategy is to reduce negative perceptions resulting from complaints, and this can be measured by observing a change in number of complaints on Facebook page and other platforms. Also, we want to make improvement in airline’s response time and customer satisfaction by measuring number of ‘likes’ to airline’s response.

Possible obstacles

Firstly, existing customer service staff might go back to the old way of replying in an insincere manner. To tackle this, prelude to launching this forum, we propose the staff to undergo personalized email writing courses and professional training to handle different cases of complaints. Secondly, airline might incur large costs from providing follow-up accommodation plans. This can be overcome due to strong financials from the parent group. Also, this could be the motivation for the airline to improve its operations to save on accommodation costs.

4.3.2 Short-term strategy 2: ‘Re-ignition of emotional bond’ Video Campaign

To improve customers’ attitude towards the airline, we suggest to conduct a video campaign to re-kindle consumers’ emotional bond with the brand.
Rationale and literature support

A ‘bolstering posture’ strategy, which includes reminding customers about the brand’s past good performances, is proven to be an effective post-crisis communication strategy (Cheng, 2011). This can be seen from the success story of Toyota’s rebranding campaign to rebuild its reputations. After Toyota was forced to recall 9 million vehicles in the United States due to trapped accelerator pedals causing high-speed accidents, social media was utilised to respond to the crisis (Lacy, 2010; Working, 2011). It created ‘Auto-Biography’ on Facebook for owners to share stories about their experiences with the brand. As people reflected on their experiences, they were reminded that Toyota is a trustworthy vehicle manufacturer. Eventually, its brand opinion and purchased considered improved by 22% and 29% respectively. Given that Jetstar Asia has won numerous awards, we believe that a similar strategy will be highly effective. This is especially so because travel and holiday expenses contribute the most to the household expenditure in Singapore (Choo & Wei, 2015). Thus, airline could play on the affinities of people having strong memories of their travel experiences.

Figure 5: Average monthly expenditure on online purchase
Following a big detrimental revelation that Volkswagen’s cars used software to falsify the emissions test results, its marketing campaign placed a deliberate focus on consumers and their relationship with the brand rather than its technology. It features a “young boy in an original VW Beetle and follows his life through a series of important moments that are made possible by a Volkswagen” (Vizard, 2016). It then ends with his son looking out from a new Volkswagen car’s window and inviting customers to create their “perfect” Volkswagen.
From these two success stories, we can draw key lessons that even in unfavorable times with negative customer emotions, there are still customers who have close emotional bond with the brand and it is important to harness this strength. When consumers think back about the positive experiences, it reinforces these positive feelings. Thus, in line with airline’s 12th anniversary this December, we propose to have two and a half weeks long video campaign in lieu with competition.
Message strategy

Through this campaign, we want to drive home messages with common themes of customer engagement and reinforcement of positive experiences.

Key messages
  1. Rekindle and evoke good memories customers had with airline
  2. Generate more positive buzz and sentiments
  3. Adopts ‘humanised brand’ approach by engaging users emotionally

Platform

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube

 Features and benefits

Phase 1

As a prelude to the video competition, airline will run promotional campaigns on all of its social media accounts (Appendix F – Figure 6), with a focus on Facebook. We plan to engage two groups of influencers to generate more interest in the campaign. The first group is The Sam Willows as it is the first Southeast Asian act to break into Spotify’s global viral 50 chart (Min, 2015) and its network of influence can increase the campaign’s reach. The Gentle Bones is the second influencer due to its popularity among our target group. Each of these influencers would be posting a minute-long video recounting about the pleasurable times they had with airline (Appendix F – Figure 7).
Phase 2

Phase 2 marks the start of video competition, which officially starts on 1st December 6am. There are 4 steps to the competition as follows:

Step 1: Take a video of 1 to 2 minutes long, sharing about the time Jetstar Asia has had a positive impact on customers.

Step 2: Upload on Jetstar Asia Facebook page and hashtag #myJetstarAsiaStory.

Step 3: Gather as many votes as possible. Only ‘likes’ on Jetstar Asia’s Facebook page are considered.

Step 4: Announcement of top 2 winners and 10 runner-ups.

 

Phase 3

To incentivize people to post, we propose to have 2 categories of winners: a post with the most number of likes and a post with the most touching story. Both winners will be awarded with a 3D2N hotel package at Movenpick Resort and Spa in Boracay for 4 people. Top 12 stories will be collaged and made into a video montage with a storyline that appreciates all the passengers that have flown with Jetstar Asia through its 12 years of services. It will end with a concluding remark that ‘Jetstar Asia is a part of people’s lives and people’s lives are a part of Jetstar Asia’s’.

Key Performance Indicators

As this campaign can be concurrently run across all its 22 destinations, we aim to see a total of 4,500 video posts added to the Facebook page to generate positive buzz and customer engagement. We plan to use output metrics such as post engagement, reach and a change in number of complaints to measure improvement in customers’ sentiments. Lastly, we aim to see an increase in number of Facebook followers.


Possible obstacles

There is a possibility that target groups who dislike both influencer groups may not want to participate in the competition. Thus, we plan to conduct offline promotions such as road shows at popular places in Singapore.


4.3.3 Long-term strategy 3: Building a Brand Community

To improve long term brand image to have a sustainable business, we propose to build a brand community.

Rationale and literature support
Brand community is proven to play a mediating role in the customer-brand relationships and have an influence on brand loyalty and trust. Brand community commitment is said to have a stronger effect on word-of-mouth than on constructive complaints (Hur, Ahn & Kim, 2011). One way to enhance trust is through information dissemination, in the form of members sharing their personal experiences and brand reviews (Hur, Ahn & Kim, 2011).
It has been proven that constant interactions and long-term relationships are crucial in building trust (Hakanen & Soudunsaari, 2012). Also, community interaction and reward for members’ activities are found to significantly impact brand community commitment (Jang, Olfman, Ko, Koh & Kim, 2014). Thus, there is a need to provide incentives for members to stay in the community.
Message strategy

Through this campaign, we want to drive home messages with common themes of quality customer service and brand ambassadors.

Key messages
  1. Customers’ opinions are important to airline.
  2. Airline wants to promote conversations among like-minded customers.


Platform

Website
Features and benefits

Feature 1: ‘MyJetstar Journey’ Ambassador Program

It is a program of having customers as brand ambassadors to represent customers and do quality check on the airline. It is on a voluntary basis and passengers need to sign up on the website to participate while purchasing air tickets. A customer will be selected upon agreement and he/she has to film the entire journey with Jetstar Asia, from the time he/she leaves home, to the airport, to the plane and until arrival at the destination. The video will be free of script and ambassadors can comment, make suggestions or compliment their travel experience with Jetstar Asia. The videos will then be posted to the website and shared among the community members to generate a talking point.
Feature 2: Mileage Points

Currently, only full-service carriers give mileage points. Thus, to differentiate Jetstar Asia from its budget airline competitors, we propose to implement a mileage points system. There will be 2 types of mileage accrual: one based on purchased fare class (Table 1) and another based on destination (Table 2). This system serves to reward frequent flyers as these mileage points could be exchanged for in-flight benefit

Table 1: Mileage classification based on purchased fare class

 

Table 2: Mileage classification based on destination

 

Feature 3: Share your tips

In order to generate talking points among customers, we propose to include this feature encouraging passengers to write in reviews, suggestions and share their travelling tips with fellow passengers. To incentivise passengers to participate, we propose airline to give out various freebies such as mileage points, food and gift vouchers.
Key Performance Indicators

We would be using number of sign-ups for Ambassadors program, number of people writing reviews and tracking of mileage points system to measure customers’ involvement.

5. Limitationspost

Execution of the abovementioned strategies would definitely incur additional costs for the brand. However, we feel that strong financials from the parent group would help to cover the costs. More importantly, these costs are short-term expenses necessary to reap many potential monetary gains in the future.

Another limitation is the short time period used to examine complaints on Jetstar Asia’s Facebook page. Instead of the 3 months’ observation period used for this report, a longer time frame would allow us to gain more comprehensive insights of the problem.

6. Conclusion

With the high number of complaints that Jetstar Asia’s currently facing, such as poor service quality in the event of delayed, as well as the stiffer competition in low cost airline industry, it is important for the airline to take swift action to improve its image. Understanding and adapting to customers’ demands is important to remain competitive in the industry.

Social media has increasingly shaped influence on people’s decisions. As such, Jetstar Asia is recommended to embrace the power of social media as a tool to tackle the existing problems and improve its image, in order to be in a better position to face market competition and stay ahead of the competitors.

[G2 – Group 12] Universal Studios Singapore #MemoriesOfUSS

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Located within Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), Universal Studios Singapore (USS) is a family-oriented theme park similar to its other locations worldwide. Unsurprisingly, this theme park, which started operations in 2010, is one of the factors that boost Singapore’s tourism significantly. Its visitors can experience cutting-edge rides, attractions and shows based on their favourite blockbuster films and television series which include the world’s tallest duelling roller-coaster, Battlestar Galactica. USS also hosts special annual events such as “Halloween Horror Nights”(HHN). Events have unique themes such as HHN2016’s ‘Lady Death’.

However, whilst USS’s popularity has remained sustained, this could not be said about the main attraction of RWS which is their casinos.

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The headline “Genting Singapore goes into the red in Q4”, as shown on Channel News Asia, showcases this predicament very clearly. Due in part to the anti-graft measures being put in place in China and the general slowing of the global economy, RWS’s general financial performance have suffered. This why my group proposal to mitigate this through the promotion of USS has the primary attraction for visiting the resort, enabled through aggressive promotion on social media. Our group feels that RWS has not fully maximized the potential earning power of USS due to not allowing USS’s brand to be clearly communicated to potential visitors globally. The aim of our group is to increase the number of visits and increase visitor spending in USS.

Analyzing USS, we find that USS’s main strengths are its strong variety of rides and its strategic location in the regional hub of Singapore. Its weakness is its relatively more expensive tickets and tendency for having long waiting times for rides. USS’s opportunities is increasing population in Singapore with a higher disposable income and the growing Asian middle class, being more willing and able to pay for high quality experiences. The main threat for USS is the presence of strong and rivalrous competitors in the entertainment industry.

Doing deeper analysis of how USS conducts its social media presence, we realized that much of USS’s social media and even online presence, is subsumed under RWS’s brand. Other than RWS official website, there is a RWS Facebook (1,062,644 Likes) and Instagram (33,600 followers), a RWS YouTube channel (7844 subscribers), and a dedicated RWS blog called RWScoop. Whilst there is a purpose to this strategy, namely that RWS wants to portray a wholistic experience approach, it also means that prominent attractions of the resort are not given the opportunity to shine.

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As a result, USS does not possess any independent social media page and instead, a visit to RWS’s facebook page may result in you seeing news about a restaurant, as shown above, which we feel is a waste to not allow multiple brands draw in the visitors to RWS. This is despite the fact that USS’s unofficial page has more than 99,910 likes and have had more than 1M check-ins.

This is further compounded by the fact that much of RWS social media presence is fairly low on generating positive buzz and consumer engagement; most of the mentions on social media as shown using Synthesio metrics are mostly indifferent or neutral.

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As such, our social media objectives intends to accomplish two things: First, create a more unique and independent brand image for USS and second, make the USS experience more personal and tailored to individual visitors.

Our target audience are the millennials aged 18-35 years regardless of whether they are Singaporeans or tourists. In terms of their consumption behaviour, these group of people is the largest consumer segment through their high expenditure in the entertainment services.

Our strategy to accomplish this are three fold: First, “MemoriesOfUSS” campaign and message. Second, utilize the USS Adventures (#UUSA) app to go enjoy a personalized journey through USS. Third, Giveaway Contests.

First, the “MemoriesOfUSS” strategy is intended as a multi-platform approach to revitalize USS’s brand image and attempt to begin building more substantive engagement with its online audience. We propose the launching of a campaign entitled “MemoriesOfUSS”, to be used in taglines and hashtags, among others. The idea behind this campaign is to sell the image of the theme park as a place to create memories and enjoy experiences, instead of merely a leisure activity.

Second, the USSA app would augment the social media campaign, as well as serve other useful functions in the park. We propose developing an application to be used in real-time while visitors are at USS, called USS Adventure (USSA). This application is meant to act an complementary add-on during the user’s visit USS. In order to personalize the experience for different visitors, when a user enters USS and downloads the app, they are first prompted to answer several personality questions. The app then plots a customized route for the user through USS.

The first value-add of the app here is that instead of users having to use physical maps to plan their journey within the park grounds and physically checking queue durations and show timings, the USSA app provides a path suited to the user’s preferences (as indicated during the short questionnaire portion) and calculates a best-fit route that also takes queue and show timings into account.

In addition, at every QR checkpoint which would be located in the queue lines of rides, the app will prompt the user to take a picture using a filter as shown below, with an automatic prompt after that to share the picture on Facebook/Instagram using the designated campaign hashtags (which will be automatically generated).

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These photo taking opportunities not only give users an activity to distract them from the monotony of queuing but also creates a “desire” and “curiosity” effect when friends see it.

Lastly, giveaways. This strategy is mainly designed as an auxiliary measure to increase the effectiveness and mitigate the drawbacks of the first two strategies, as well as to generate more positive buzz online. We propose organizing giveaway contests of tickets to USS events such as the aforementioned Halloween Horror Nights, entry tickets to USS itself for repeat visits, or other RWS attractions such as restaurants or theatre shows. The contest entries would consist of visitors entering their own #USSA posts after having completed one playthrough of the USSA application, with the giveaway prizes being awarded to the most up-voted #USSA playthrough by other Facebook/Twitter users. This encourages sharing and engaging among users and their own social networks. This strategy is easily scalable for any RWS events and attractions.

In summary, despite some gaps in social media marketing currently present with USS, presence of rivals and vulnerability to economic slumps (being a luxury attraction), USS remains a highly marketable product with a lot of future potential. Our social media campaign hopes not only to tap into new markets by ramping up the company’s online presence, user engagement and distinguishing its brand image, but by personalizing individual visitor experiences and hopefully creating a more vibrant online community as well.

(G1) Group 9: Hopscotch Bar

“Craft cocktails for every occasion”

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What, Hopscotch? 

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, along with their favourite local themed shots.

Drawing inspiration from the game, Hopscotch also has a games corner, which features retro games which locals once enjoyed as kids. Hospcotch seeks to creates a unique experience through cocktails, the nostalgic games area, stir-fried wok food as well as friendly and outgoing staff.

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Current problems faced by Hopscotch 
-Lack of weekday crowd: 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.

-Lack of brand awareness online: With a small following online, most of the customers are referred to the bar by word of mouth.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. But relying on such archaic methods is unsustainable as the growth of customer base is slow and its name gets lost in the chatter in comparison to its more vocal competitors.

Why Social Media for Hopscotch?

Current customer demographic and target audience

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. Its customers are active on social media, so must Hopscotch!

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The Power of Social Media for F&B Outlets

The 2013 Green Hasson Janks Food & Beverage Industry Survey indicate that more than three-quarters (78.9 percent) of respondents report that social media has a significant impact on their company. The difference between social media and traditional websites is the two-directional content. More specifically, business need to allow customers to give their opinions and feedback (Janks, G.H. ,2013).

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.

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How is Hopscotch’s social media doing currently?

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After 2 years, Hopscotch has less than 2000 likes on Facebook, a dismal growth rate of 6% over 2 months and a total of 300 interactions over 30 post, which is an astoundingly poor 10 per post.

Competitor Analysis

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Several key competitors have been narrowed down based on the type of demographics that the bars cater too.

It can be observed clearly that Hopscotch bar is trailing behind on social media marketing with less than 2000 likes. Being a bar that is 2 years old, it is trailing behind competitor TESS bar which was opened just last year. It becomes pertinent that Hopscotch has to improve on its social media platforms to keep up with its competitors.

Current Marketing Strategies

Interview with Founder Takeaways: 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 relies 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 constraint, and lack of familiarity. On further discussing with the owners, we also found out that they do not have an in house marketing team, which is quite a normal case for many small businesses. 

Here are some of the key areas we have identified where they are lacking:

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How does Hopscotch leverage on social media to overcome its challenges?

Objectives and Goals

Embracing Hopscotch’s unique value proposition of unique craft cocktails presented in interesting ways, meaningful customer service, pleasing vibes, and the fact that the drinks are rather expensive; the team has come to the realization that marketing Hopscotch Bar is akin to marketing a luxury product, where the prices of products and services are high, but promises an experience like no other.  Our team has come up with the slogan of “an experience like no other”.

Goals set the course for any campaign. Our goals align with Hopscotch’s theme of building an organic following based on the experience being sold. We intend to kickstart the campaign with some immediate buzz, followed by a constant stream of good and effective content distribution and long run audience building.

Short-Term Strategies

Strategy 1: Integration of Refined Content Creation

1.1 Canva:

Canva is a free and easy to use graphic design software that can serve its purpose as a content creation tool for Hopscotch. As a bar operating in the nightlife/F&B industry, attractive and visually appealing collateral is key to set any business apart from the myriad of competitors out there. Canva allows a user with little to zero background experience to create beautiful posts to capture the attention of our audiences online. 

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-9-57-26-pmFig 1. Sample post created for Hopscotch within 5 mins with Canva

1.2 Emphasis on creating good social media posts:

We want to exact very high post standards for Hopscotch to follow in order to keep up with its peers:

Use bright, well-lit and eye catching photos – This allows our followers to have something aesthetically pleasing to the eye when they see our posts so that they can associate positive sentiments towards Hopscotch.

Match and pair fontsAnother method to create visually appealing posts is to do font matching. According to Canva, a suitable font that Hopscotch can consider is Montserrat, as it portrays a contemporary feel that is simple yet effective (Pack, 2015).

Post at relevant timingsIn an interview that was conducted with the editor of Whatsnextsg, a local lifestyle blog, He reported based on his company’s social media statistics, the optimal time for posts on social media in Singapore are meal times. We focused to posting during meal times and have noted an increase in the number of likes.
By posting at consistent meal timings that is tested and proven by an influential media outlet, it allows Hopscotch to be consistent in their social media posts which allows followers to know when to expect content from us. In the long run, this might inculcate a sense of familiarity in them, such that they can look forward to fresh updates from us during meal times on a consistent basis.

Connect captions and pictures/videos After going through Hopscotch’s social media feed, we have identified some posts that mentioned their new and unique cocktails but the post was a shot of their bartender and not the cocktail itself. This is not effective as followers are not able to visualize the new cocktails that Hopscotch wants to market. We recommend that there has to be a link between the subject matter of the post and what is in the pictures/videos so that the followers are able to understand the entirety of the posts instead of feeling confused by the mismatch between the subject matter and image.

Diversify post mediums and content Hopscotch has primarily been utilizing photos and snapshots of their bar, cocktails or people. Hopscotch should consider a   two pronged approach to improve their outreach. Firstly, they should diversify the mediums that they employ to include YouTube/Facebook videos or even snapchat. This would be useful because the followers will get bored of merely looking at static photos of Hopscotch. Secondly, Hopscotch should consider diversifying their content as well. They should explore coming up with creative and novel ways to subtly market themselves, such as interesting videos on how their cocktails are made and so on. This diversification will allow followers to be constantly surprised by our content, and will set Hopscotch apart from its competitors as well.

Create links and call to actions – According to Thomas & Brook-Carter (2011), interaction with customers is a very effective method to market the brand. Therefore, we intend to create posts that will allow customers to like and share our page, and by doing so, they stand a chance to win free cocktails. Letting users be a part of this campaign allows greater interaction, and this will make them become more attached to the brand (Thomas & Brook-Carter, 2011).

Encourage staff to share posts – Currently, content is only shared to fans of the hopscotch Facebook page. By encouraging staff and co-owners to share such content on their personal social media accounts, we can tap onto their existing networks. According to the Social Network Theory , this would be beneficial to us especially if they have high closeness, centrality and betweenness in the social groups that they belong to.

1.3 Establish Partnerships with Media Producers

The third strategy is to establish partnerships with media producers so that Hopscotch bar is able to leverage on additional content such as videos to expand the social media reach of its different platforms. Our group managed to get media production company, Orhsome Productions, to help take a corporate video of Hopscotch’s 2nd year anniversary to test the effectiveness of a good viral video marketing strategy. The reach of this video has since hit the 10k mark, and has 4.8k views. This is indicative that having such videos, on top of the conventional posts, is indeed very effective as a marketing strategy and helps to contribute to our larger aim of promoting ‘an experience like no other’ at Hopscotch Bar.

What we propose is that Hopscotch continue to build such relations with media producers so that from time to time, we can leverage on the effectiveness of such videos online to gain a larger following in our various social media platforms in the long run

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FHopscotchByMFM%2Fvideos%2Fvb.1456528131285649%2F1787763871495405%2F%3Ftype%3D3&show_text=0&width=560“>Link to video

 2. Media Outreach for audience building

Media Networking Event

The last short term strategy is to host a unique media networking event/drinks tasting event to spread awareness that Hopscotch bar actually exists.

In Singapore, the press and media has always been the key channel of distribution to the public. They have a significantly large reach to the general populace. Therefore, on top of just inviting social media influencers like most of the businesses are doing, we intend to invite Tier 1 and Tier 2 media stakeholders as well. This includes people from the traditional press, radio, television and popular lifestyle blogs such as Honeycombers, Nightdowhat, Ieatishootipost Whatsnextsg, Smart Local and the like. We can reach out to hundreds and thousands of followers if the bar can showcase its chops effectively. The brand should engage in conversations with the attendees to build rapport with these media stakeholders, which will only put the bar in an even better light

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-9-27-35-pmFig 2. Instagram worthy items that may end up on the social media accounts if given the opportunity

Long Term Strategies
Our strategies in long haul for Hopscotch will focus heavily on creating an online presence and audience. A strong online community not only gives the brand credibility, but also allows Hopscotch a platform to interact with its members, creating brand loyalty and awareness and solving the dreaded weekday slum. 

 1. Share for Shots Giveaway
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A proposed weekly contest held on Hopscotch’s relevant social media platforms, “Share for Shots” aims to engage and educate the public using product incentives.

The advantages of having such a simple, yet engaging campaign, is its effectiveness in building and educating the brand’s fan base. Likes from the contest allow us to physically acquire followers, thoughts on which product contestants would like to try prevent contestants to actually do research and educate themselves on the brand and its products; no shot can be consumed online, and winners will have to physically make their way down to the bar, which may lead to sales on site and further exposure when they post their review of the products online.

2. Comprehensive Content Schedule

We assisted the founders overcome some of the challenges they face with social media, we came up with a complete content strategy for Facebook for the entire month of December, 2016. Post schedule will focus a lot on featuring their brand and its product through informative and engaging product posts and events schedule. However, this should be done in tandem with post about staff and customers, in order to perpetrate Hopscotch’s image as a bar for friends and the Singaporean drinking community and create a more relatable online impression for its followers. Timings are in strict adherence to meal times, and mediums varied. 

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3. Press Distribution

We came up with a simple and comprehensive press kit for Hopscotch to engage media outlets with. The straightforward layout aims to allow for key information on drinks and the bar etc. to stand out and eye-catching visuals to entreat journalist to cover Hopscotch due to its unique products. Press distribution is also a cost-efficient method of creating brand awareness and building audiences as media kits are created in house, distributed over email and picked up by interested media outlets at no cost most of the time. The articles generated create substantial outreach for the brand on each outlets extensive follower base and lends credibility to the brand as it is now associated with reputable media outlets.

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Fig 3. Results after 2 short months reveals promise for such a strategy

 

4. Influencer Marketing

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Soh Pei Si (@speishi) hosted her 21st birthday at Hopscotch and talked about on her relevant social media platforms. Multiple enquiries were made to Hopscotch thereafter about using the venue for similar events and for reservations. The reach and pull of these celebrities is definitely something Hopscotch should explore as it has proven to work particularly well for their business in particular.

We recommend they explore reaching out to prominent social media influencers with the opportunity to host their events for free at Hopscotch’s venue, in exchange for the possibility of spontaneous coverage for the brand. Similarly, paid partnerships in the form of bar ambassadors can be looked at to create strong brand associations with such noteworthy influencers like Lady Iron Chef and Seth Lui.

5. Events platform

Hopscotch should look to explore priming its premises as an events venue for weekday corporate events. A stones throw from the corporate businesses in CBD area and other tertiary institutes like Singapore Management University, Hopscotch can use social media to provide awareness of this ideal events venue for the relevant organizations.Using the power of corporate social media like Linkedin to fulfil B2B services as corporate events host instead of relying on typical B2C publicity, which is unlikely to work because theres high resistance towards leisure on typical weekdays. Especially since weekday evening events are usually popular amongst businesses.

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Conclusion

Monitoring the progress since the team started managing Hopscotch’s Facebook page, we have achieved much within this short time span of one and a half months. The page fan base grew tremendously, and we were extremely lucky to be able to capitalize on Hopscotch’s second anniversary to promote much of our content.

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During this period, Hopscotch is also able to garner its three all-time best posts in terms of engagements and reach. The executive team at Hopscotch were extremely happy with our results, and we personally hope that the owners will continue adopting the long term strategies we have charted for Hopscotch Bar.

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See you at Hopscotch soon!

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