Individual Project: Petrol Retail Companies

Hi everyone! I am Jia Wei from G2 and my individual project is on the petrol retail industry! I chose Facebook as my social media platform and looked at the performance of 3 petrol retail companies in Singapore – Shell, Esso, and Caltex (They should be very familiar names to all of you!)

Introduction

As you all know, petrol prices in Singapore cannot be manipulated easily, with the government watching closely. The only way for companies to stand out is through non-price differentiation strategies, whereby Facebook seems like the ideal tool to do so!

Research Question

As such, my research question for this project is to find out how Facebook can be used by petrol retail companies to improve their relationships with customers, so as to differentiate their products from their competitors.

Insights

After tracking and observing the Facebook activities of Shell, Esso, and Caltex, I obtained some insights through the analysis:

  1. While advertising on Facebook can help companies greatly increase their reach and brand awareness, it may not be as effective in promoting specific products or causes as people are wary of advertised products.
  2. Facebook posts should be relevant to the company, and not based on random and irrelevant topics.
  3. Contests are able to generate a lot of buzz on Facebook pages, and related posts go viral more easily.

Recommendations

I chose to offer recommendations to Caltex, since they had the most Facebook posts during the tracking period, but they were least well-received by the online community, showing that their social media strategy is ineffective!

My target audience comprises of young working adults who drive at least once a week, as only drivers would need to purchase petrol (obviously!) and young working adults are more active on Facebook.

My first strategy is a hashtag #RunOnTechrOn brand ambassador campaign, where fans are invited to share their reasons for loving Caltex’s petrol, Techron, with its special additives. The poster shown below will be posted on Caltex’s Facebook page, open for anyone to comment. Their comments could be something like “I #RunOnTechrOn because it is more efficient and brings me further!”Poster mockup.png

Online Poster for #RunOnTechrOn campaign

My second strategy is a card designing contest whereby Facebook users are invited to submit their own renditions of designs for the Caltex loyalty card. The winner will walk away with a year’s supply of Caltex petrol! (Of course that’s limited to one full-tank topup every month, but that’s attractive enough!) The winning design will also be used as the next loyalty card design! An example of a card design can be found right below:

Card mockup.png

Example of Card Design

Conclusion

These strategies can help increase engagement with customers, essentially improving their relationship with Caltex. This will give them a unique customer experience of engaging with Caltex instead of simply purchasing its products.

This is how Facebook can be used by Caltex to improve its relationships with its customers, so as to differentiate its products from other petrol retail companies!

 

Thank you for reading my project summary! 🙂

 

-Jia Wei

Handling PR on Facebook?

Hi everyone!

So I came across an article about Lavastone’s Facebook PR disaster and wanted to share it – I was actually drawn to it because it looked like an interesting article but on second thoughts, it’s actually very applicable for our class! (Some of you might have heard of this before – apparently they are quite infamous now)

Of course I went over to find them on Facebook and voila – it’s all true. Highly doubt that anyone who hears about this would still patronise their store – Really shows how important it is to handle comments professionally on your social media platforms, and obviously not use any personal attacks on customers.

Anyway, here’s the article below: (And check out their Facebook page too)

 

 

1. The owner manning the page is all about getting to the bottom of things. He even demanded a reply and CSI-ed the reviewer months after the incident.

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say kuan 2say kuan 1

 

2. Talking about CSI…

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After a long explanation and a series of photos of satisfied customers, the owner said this:

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So the customer, being a “young man” obviously couldn’t take it lying down.

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*Walls of text*… Wait for it…

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And the cherry on the cake.

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3. Another case of CSI.

mervin kwong

 

4. On another review thread, we concluded that “Lack of manpower. Missing out orders.” must be caused by the Ministry of Manpower and the nation’s gross domestic product.

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5. This reviewer discovered the owner’s modus operandi

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6. And what’s a review page without some trolling?

timothy boay

 

Even though there are multiple one and two-star reviews for Lavastone Steakhouse, the overall score is still 4.1 out of 5 stars, according to the Facebook reviews.

The reason is because customers who leave a 5-star review before dining receive a free upgrade to a bigger steak.