Individual Social Media Project – Dessert Brands

Hi everyone!

Here is a summary of my social media project on local dessert brands in Singapore.

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  1. Overview and Research Question

The importance of Instagram for food brands and businesses cannot be overstated. We prefer visuals to text and we want pictures that showcase the brand’s purpose and philosophy, not just an advertisement. We also want to be able to scroll quickly and uncover new content, to be a part of the Instagram community. While most research on the value of Instagram for businesses focuses on large brands and MNCs, I am more interested in finding out: what is the value of Instagram for homegrown businesses looking to build awareness, engagement and a community of followers?

A significant portion of the Food & Beverages (F&B) industry in Singapore is made up of Singapore-based dessert chains and cafes that are founded and managed by local entrepreneurs. I have chosen three well-known local dessert businesses pioneered by Singapore entrepreneurs, with mainly ice cream and yogurt offerings. They are Creamier, Sogurt and Yoguru.

2. Data Analysis 

To analyse the Instagram performance of the three sources, I tracked the (1) number of followers, (2) total engagement (as a percentage of followers) and (3) frequency and volume of posts. I also conducted a simple survey to assess target audience user motivations and behaviours in general, and when following local dessert brands on Instagram.

Based on my analysis, Yoguru is lacking in its Instagram efforts as compared to the other two sources.

What works:

(1) Communicating necessary information (eg. introducing new flavours and toppings, promotions, announcing recruitment activities once in a while)

(2) Announcing partnerships and sponsorships of sports and lifestyle events, in line with the healthy lifestyle image it wants to associate itself with

What needs to improve:

(1) Failure to update its Instagram feed regularly means insufficient content to keep followers continually engaged, leading to low awareness and engagement

(2) Lack of incentive for followers to like or comment on posts mainly because of the absence of follow-up action and minimal opportunities to participate in brand conversations. Based on the survey conducted, the top two reasons for not following Yoguru on instagram are (1) unaware of its presence on Instagram  (2) no incentive or motivation to engage

(3) Absence of social media persona – Creamier is all about heritage and craftsmanship, while Sogurt is about fun, joy, friendship, and adopts a conversational and personable style. However, Yoguru does not have a clearly defined social media style that is authentic and attractive to its followers.

3. Proposed Strategies

(1) Capturing #YoguruMoments

Having hashtag contests would encourage lots of user-generated content from consumers. Instead of feeling as though they are targets of the brand’s advertising efforts, they are given opportunities to participate in the conversation and are valued co-creators of the brand’s social media image. The message is that Yoguru can be enjoyed with anyone, anywhere and anytime, regardless of the occasion. It is more than just the product, it is about the experiences that consumers have with the brand and Yoguru wants to share and celebrate these moments with them. Moreover, these are personalised user stories that are real and shareable.

(2) Influencer collaborations

In contrast to promoting the product, Yoguru can also advocate the healthy living lifestyle by collaborating with health and fitness social media influencers on Instagram. This increases the association of the brand with healthy and active lifestyle, which is in line with the image it aims to promote. These collaborations can come in the form of mini contests, whereby influencers can invite followers to share about their tips and experiences with committing to an active lifestyle. They can handpick lucky winners to join them in an exclusive yoga session for instance, whereby Yoguru will be the official sponsor of the session. This allows Yoguru to leverage on the reach, influence and fan following of these Instagrammers.

4. Conclusion

In summary, Instagram provides the perfect platform for brands to interact with consumers through user-generated content that is real and shareable, as well as for brands to tap on the influence, network and reach of Instagrammers to get even closer to their consumers. With Instagram, smaller homegrown businesses such as local dessert chains are able to create deeper and more personalised relationships with its consumers, translating into a community of followers that are motivated to associate themselves with the business in the long run.

Thank you for reading!

Clara

 

Managing branded posts

Hi all!

3 months ago, Adidas and popular social media influencer Andrea Chong were caught up in a social media fix regarding Chong’s participation in the Standard Chartered race. In the photo posted by Chong, she is seen wearing a Standard Chartered Bib while running the marathon (see photo here: http://mothership.sg/2015/12/singapore-now-has-its-own-ridiculously-photogenic-marathon-runner-but/). There were rumours that she did not complete the marathon. Netizens also pointed out that the bib was in fact registered under another person, an intern with PR firm Edelman. In response, Chong removed the post and uploaded a new photo (http://www.marketing-interactive.com/adidas-marathon-faux-pas-can-you-afford-to-be-careless-with-branded-posts/). 

The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) has stated that it will develop a set of guidelines on digital and social media marketing and advertising activities. The guidelines will “establish the levels of disclosure that are required of sponsored messages that appear on blogs and social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Marketers will be required to make sponsored messages distinguishable from personal opinions and editorial content in their posts and disclose any commercial relationships.”

What constitutes as a branded post? Will simply hashtagging or tagging the brand in the post count as that?

This set of guidelines will be extremely pertinent, especially in light of the recent spate of events involving NTUC Income and Rebecca Lim’s “retirement”. 

Clara (G1)

Yelp employee fired for open letter to CEO

Hi everyone, I came across this interesting piece of news and thought I should share it here.

A Yelp employee lost her job just two hours after a social media posting about her struggle to make ends meet. Working as a customer service representative, the employee claimed that her low pay meant that she had to cut back on her groceries in order to afford her rent and bills. This was worsened by the city’s high cost of living. Ultimately, she decided to send tweets to Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, in a bid to make her voice heard.

Yelp tweet

She also uploaded a post on Medium, entitled “An Open Letter to my CEO”, detailing her struggles. The post has since gone viral on Twitter. (https://medium.com/@taliajane/an-open-letter-to-my-ceo-fb73df021e7a#.eyer72cir)

“I was sitting there and thinking, ‘I hope he sees this and I hope my CEO listens and hears me,’ and then it started to dawn on me: I wonder if I’ll get fired for saying this out loud?

Sure enough, she lost her job just 2 hours later, after being informed by HR that she had violated the company’s terms of conduct. While company personnel avoided elaborating on the situation, CEO Stoppelman denied that the employee’s dismissal was because of her social media posts, and even responded to her tweets by claiming that he agreed with some of her points about the high cost of living etc. However, the employee argued that Yelp is not being completely honest with her dismissal.

“Yelp is trying to make this die down by lying about it,” she said. “Firing someone while their post about pay issues is on the cusp of going viral, that’s like a lightning strike in the middle of a super dry forest. Things have just exploded.”

This case is somewhat similar to the Mark Jen / Google case that we looked at in week 5’s class.

Here are some questions to think about:

  1. Does Yelp have a social media policy to guide employees’ social media activities? Perhaps, company policy is unclear, or the employee in question was aware of the boundaries but was still willing to take the risk.
  2. Interesting that she turned to social media to make her voice heard and leveraged on the power of viral. Are there no other available platforms or personnel within the company for her to approach, such that she had to directly tweet to the CEO himself?
  3. Who is at fault here? Was the employee’s post the reason for her dismissal? Did she overstep the boundaries or was company social media policy unclear?

Clara

OK Go Switches from Youtube to Facebook

Some of us have heard of, or even seen the music videos of the American alternative rock band “OK Go”, famous for its viral videos. The band has enjoyed viral marketing success on Youtube because of its quirky music videos that are watchable and shareable.

Recently, OK Go released a new music video, “Upside Down & Inside Out”, featuring the band engaging in their signature choreographed routine aboard a zero-gravity airplane ride (you can watch the music video on their Facebook page).

What is interesting is that this is the first time the band has turned to Facebook, instead of uploading it on Youtube, the usual go-to platform for music videos. If you try to search for the video on Youtube, you will only find a clip that encourages people to check out the music video on Facebook instead. OK Go cited a few reasons why they chose to go Facebook-only, mainly because of the increasing reach and engagement of Facebook when it comes to videos. In addition, Facebook has been working towards “increasing ad revenue for video content creators”, making it an appealing alternative to Youtube. The band has also had a rough partnership with Youtube, largely because of the insignificant ad revenue gained each time its video gets played.

You can read about it here: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/why-ok-go-went-facebook-only-debut-its-buzzy-zero-gravity-music-video-169599

Although the band is confident about its bold move, will it be able to replicate its viral marketing success on another native video platform, Facebook? 

Here are some of its viral music videos:

Clara