G1 Individual Research Project – UBER

Hello to all!

I hope everyone is pressing on towards the end of the semester. (:

The organization I chose for my individual project is UBER, and I’m sure many of us are familiar with it and its wonderful services. Through my analysis of Uber and its performance on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, I have come up with certain recommendations with the campaign hashtag of #UberMovesMe. Please do take some time to read my project summary, and all the best for finals!

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Background or Organization

Uber is a mobile app-based company offering services pertaining to mobility on demand. Currently, it is most widely known for its online vehicle-for-hire service, where Uber riders are matched with Uber drivers on a real-time basis to bring them to their destination.

While Uber has grown at an exceptional rate to be active in over 300 cities worldwide, it has had its fair share of controversies. The legality of Uber is widely disputed, given its nature of being a disruptive type of technology. Another issue Uber is heavily involved in is safety, as the company has faced several incidents, ranging from sexual assault to vehicle accidents. Hence, social media is a necessary tool to mitigate potential negative externalities from such incidents, which may greatly impact the uptake of Uber’s services.

Research objective

Upon analysis, my paper seeks to provide a set of recommendations for Uber to:

  • Better engage with their fans on the social media platforms, and
  • Better integrate the brand into the lifestyle of Singaporeans.

Uber’s Current Strategies on its Social Media Platforms

Uber has three main strategies, as I observed on its Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

  • Uber provides accessible updates about the happenings within the company

Example of an Instagram post announcing Uber’s new logo

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  • Uber leverages on the jovial mood of festivities to engage its fans

Example of a Facebook post for the Lunar New Year

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  • Uber focuses on delivering a consistent message of safety:

Example of a tweet on safety

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Data collection

To deeply analyze the current performance of Uber’s strategy, data on Uber’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages were collected. The period of data collection was from 01 February – 14 February 2016, and the types of data collected were a) number of likes/ followers, b) number and type of content of postings on the social media platform, c) volume and direction of response from the online community.

While the data collection was done on Uber’s global pages, the recommendations are tailored to the local Singaporean market. Hence, to get a better understanding of the issues Uber can address with regard to Singapore through social media, I also conducted a separate survey with 41 respondents from the target demographics of Uber to figure out the existing perceptions of the brand.

Conclusion

Uber is poised to become a significant force in the mobility-on-demand market given its first-mover advantage. However, there are impediments to sustaining Uber’s position, such as the ever-increasing number of innovative competitors, legal and safety issues, and lack of brand loyalty. Hence, it is in Uber’s interest to utilize the social media recommendations so as to achieve consistent and sustainable integration into the lifestyle of Singaporeans.

To end off, I hope all of us will remember that Uber is great because Uber makes us mobile, #UberMovesMe

G5, Sang Hee

Proposal Summary – The Body Shop

moss-globe

Hi class,

Our group has chosen to present on The Body Shop in our Social Media Research Project. A brief history of Body Shop – it was founded by Anita Roddick in 1976 after she had visited a shop of the same name in Berkeley, California selling naturally-scented soaps and lotions. Since then, The Body Shop has experienced exponential growth and now has 2,500 stores in over 60 markets worldwide.

The Body Shop has branded itself as a socially-responsible organization. In fact, its corporate mission is “to dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change”. Causes which the organization stands for include being against animal testing and emphasizing fair trade. However, controversy arose when Body Shop was sold to French cosmetics giant, L’Oréal, in March 2006. Activists called for a boycott of Body Shop products as they had strongly opposed L’Oréal’s policy of testing cosmetic ingredients on animals.

Fast forward to today, our group believes that Body Shop has been struggling to uphold and preserve its original image of being an ethical organization, even though its parent company, L’Oréal, has explicitly stated that it now no longer tests its products or ingredients on animals anywhere in the world. Consequently, positive impressions of Body Shop have waned in recent years.

Thus, herein lies our research question: How can The Body Shop use social media to revitalize the brand, specifically in Singapore? We have decided to focus on the Singapore market because it is more practical in that we understand the market well enough to come up with viable and objective suggestions. In addition, we believe that Singaporean consumers are confused as to the values that Body Shop embodies. As such, our group project is based upon the premise that Body Shop can leverage on the use of social media to spread brand awareness and subsequently, engender a stronger brand identity here in Singapore.

To provide answers to our research question, we intend to conduct social media tracking of Body Shop’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts and compare the results to that of its more notable competitors, Lush and L’Occitane. We also intend to carry out a survey to gauge sentiments and perceptions of Body Shop among Singaporean consumers. Using the data collected, we hope to be able to propose workable, yet creative, solutions and strategies that Body Shop can adopt to communicate brand awareness and values to Singaporean consumers.

We are excited to share with you our project proposal in the coming lesson and look forward to any ideas that you want to share. Thank you!

Dasuki, Yu, Nicole, Shermaine & myself

 

Rebecca Lim’s “Retirement”

Yesterday, Singaporean actress Rebecca Lim posted on her Facebook page “I’m all set and I’m retiring.”. The post generated a great amount of interest with over 4,000 likes, 222 shares, and many fans commenting their well wishes for her future.

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However, last evening, she posted again on her page with a video with details about her “retirement” – which actually turned out to be just a mention of how she signed a retirement savings plan with NTUC income. Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 1.04.11 PM.png

While this post received less than half the number of likes compared to her first post, it was shared a whopping 639 times with 400 comments – which were mostly negative, chiding her and NTUC Income for what seems to be an overdone marketing ploy.

The tone of comments and remarks for Rebecca Lim went from generally positive to overwhelmingly negative within a single day. But, it did bring about attention to NTUC Income and the more or less good intention of getting Singaporeans to plan for their future.

Could it be a successful social media strategy albeit the negative feelings felt by fans and followers who were truly saddened by her news of retirement?

Watch the video here:

 

 

SH

“Beyonce Bounce” – an unexpected hit for restaurant Red Lobster

We all know social media is powerful. And yet, there is something even more powerful in calling us to action – social media from influencers.

For this week’s reading Impact of Social Media in Power Relations of Korean Health Activism, we see how endorsement from largely followed individuals such as politician Lee Chung Hee and actress Ku Hye-Sun was a godsend in pushing KLPG’s causes to the masses through social media. However, these endorsements were a result of much effort on KLPG’s side to get the relevant influencers to spread the message to their followers (with great results subsequently).

On the flip side, what about ideas which get organically pushed to the forefront of hot issues in social media, and result in unplanned “benefits” to the relevant organisations? I came across an article talking about how Beyonce’s latest song, Formation, which has viral videos of both her music video and her live performance on last week’s Super Bowl Sunday, unintentionally put a restaurant called Red Lobster into the social media limelight and spiked its sales. All of this was due to a short two lines in her song “When he f*ck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay“, out of a total of ~70 lines.

This example really highlighted the unpredictability of social media to me.  Many social media strategists make calculated actions in an attempt to push for sales, awareness, etc. While Beyonce’s Youtube videos on Formation, for the most part, are being interpreted largely to be a statement about Black/ White racial tensions, on the sideline – Red Lobster is benefiting a spike in sales, and has also trended and had a record high number of likes and shares on its posts because of a small and uncoordinated mention.

How do/ should we make sense of this?

Here is the article for reference:

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/beyonce-bounce-red-lobster-credits-sales-spike-queen-bey-n514661

The lyrics of the song:

http://genius.com/Beyonce-formation-lyrics

Beyonce Formation video (contains profanities, please watch at your own discretion!)

 

SH