Homegrown Hero Tiger Beer: Social media strategy

Hi there!

Sheena from G1 here. I trust that everyone here, especially Singaporeans, is familiar with my chosen brand Tiger Beer.

Some background

Tiger Beer, undoubtedly a Singapore icon, enjoys a favourable reputation amongst Singaporeans. The older generations, especially, relate strongly with this brand

However, of late, Tiger Beer has been trying to reach out to the younger audiences. Unfortunately, they have never truly managed to shake off their old-fashioned image, largely borne of their main drinker demographic, middle-aged to older men. The brand’s three most recent major campaigns to discard this image for a younger and more global one – Uncage, #SayItWithTiger and Uncage Street Food – have however met with mixed responses.

Social media audit

A quick social media audit revealed that Facebook is undoubtedly Tiger Beer’s social media platform of choice , with its page on this platform garnering an impressive 1.7 million likes to-date. It features almost entirely content from its various campaigns, such as campaign videos, collateral and visuals. 

UNCAGE

For the Uncage global brand campaign, the brand’s Facebook platform was used to launch videos featuring everyday Asian heroes – or Tiger Uncaged personalities -who uncaged themselves from societal expectations. Tiger also conducted a social media competition which gave viewers the chance to win a free tattoo from Joey Pang, one the the Tiger Uncage personalities. 

The posts however, struggled to gain traction, with the number of likes straddling between 600 to 1,500, and the shares from 18 to 100. Criticism of this campaign included the fact that its social media content strategy was  boring and safe (ironic given the “uncage yourself” campaign message), and had a low word-of-mouth factor.

#SAYITWITHTIGER

The Facebook aspect of this campaign featured the videos of high-budget influencers saying Chinese New Year greetings in creative ways, and invited viewers to create their own greetings to be uploaded with the hashtag. Although this campaign relied heavily on the use of influencers, it once again did not manage to gain traction on Facebook. 

This could be attributed to two reasons. Firstly, the social media strategy failed to understand its target audience for this campaign and led with international, Western influencers such as Norman Reedus and Diego Costa. Secondly, the social media strategy was passive, with a weak call-to-action (posting your own greeting) that did not incentivise viewers to participate.

UNCAGE STREET FOOD

By far the most successful campaign on Facebook of the three. Uncage Street Food featured compelling video and visual content about the unknown side of street food hawkers, and raised importance questions about the sustainability of street food in Singapore.

The videos have to-date received between 300,000 to 400,000 views on Facebook, between 1,000 to 3,500 likes per post, and a peak of 2,800 shares for a single post. The comments also number in the hundreds.

What made this campaign this much more successful than Tiger Beer’s previous two could be attributed the issue, which was close to Singaporeans’ hearts and intertwined with local identity, which allowed the content to resonate much more. Secondly, it understood the nature of what makes content shareable, inciting an issue close to Singaporeans’ hearts, it amplified the resonance of the campaign through social media sharing.

Twitter and Instagram

Unfortunately, Tiger Beer’s Twitter strategy is weak, with the brand clearly not focusing on or even neglecting this platform.  With fewer than 800 followers each, a far cry from its Facebook page’s, Tiger’s Twitter and Instagram platforms have not been utilised to its fullest potential.

The content strategy on its Twitter platform across all three campaigns is to merely tweet links to its Facebook posts, with no original and unique content being created specifically for the platform. It would appear that its Twitter account exists merely for existing’s sake, without adding value to any of the brand’s campaign, nor its overall strategy to reach out to younger audiences. 

Likewise, Tiger Beer’s Instagram page suffers the same fate as that of its Twitter account – the posts are but reposts of the content on its Facebook page. 

Findings

There is potential for Tiger Beer to strengthen its social media strategy given that it is already a highly recognisable and visible brand in the local market.

Currently, it has a strong content strategy which increases word-of-mouth, and its shareable factor. The social media strategy quite closely tailored to the local audience, avoiding generic global content across the three campaigns analysed – featuring local street food and hawkers in Uncage Street Food, leveraging on the Chinese New Year celebrations (a key local holiday) for #SayItWithTiger, and the use of local and Asian personalities in Uncage.

However, it is clearly neglecting key social media platforms Twitter and Instagram, and engagement and two-way conversation levels are relatively low as the brand does not incentivise its users sufficiently to generate content and participate.

PROPOSED STRATEGIES

Tiger’s social media strategy moving forward should aim to leverage on its strengths in content creation tailored to a local audience,  and address its weaknesses in incentivising users to engage and build its presence on Twitter and Instagram. This essay proposes two examples of such strategies.

PROPOSED STRATEGY 1: NATIVE ADVERTISING

Given Tiger’s strength in creating content, approaching a native advertising strategy will capitalise the most strongly on this.

With a selection of popular lifestyle portals that enjoy a large reach in Singapore, a native advertising strategy would work in communicating the various brand campaigns launched by Tiger. Examples of such include powerhouses like The Smart Local, Mothership and Alvinology, who have Facebook followings numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

These portals are most popularly used by Singaporeans to catch up on current affairs, look up food reviews and search for lifestyle and entertainment recommendations. Tiger could leverage on their reach and their millennial-majority audience to amplify their campaign and brand messages. The Smart Local’s reader demographics indicate that 69% of its readers fall within the ages of 18 and 34, which could make it a key tool in modernising Tiger’s brand image.

Potential content can include posts such as “Tiger Beer brings you Singapore’s top 10 Hidden Hawker Gems”, or “The best 5 Chinese New Year goodies to pair Tiger Beer with”.

PROPOSED STRATEGY 2: BRAND AMBASSADOR STRATEGY

Influencer strategies are especially effective in the context of modern consumption habits, and with millennial audiences. The selection of apt and relatable influencers would be the most effective in driving across Tiger’s campaign and brand messages.

Tiger Beer has a stronghold as a local icon, tied closely to the history and culture of Singapore. Therefore, to leverage on this, it should avoid using Western and international influencers and instead identify locals to front the brand. In fact, Tiger should capitalise on its connection with everyday Singaporeans and use “normal”, relatable Singaporeans to represent its brand. 

Some examples can include Dr Leslie Tay, Narelle Kheng, and K.F Seetoh, among others. Influencers could share stirring and inspiring stories that contribute to each Tiger campaign, each with a strong local context and flavour to encourage resonance, and thus  shareability.

For instance, singer Narelle Kheng lost her mother at a young age, and could use her story to strengthen and encourage Singaporeans through Tiger’s Uncage campaign. Likewise, Dr Leslie Tay can share stories of how hawker centres have impacted his growing years, leading to his continued advocacy of local food.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Tiger Beer’s social media strategy is strong relative to its competitors, but can be further improved to leverage on its existing strengths, relating more strong and speaking more directly to Singaporeans whose identity and heritage and richly intertwined with that of Tiger Beer’s.