G2 Individual Research Paper | Singapore Children’s Society

Hi everyone!

In all our discussions about social media strategies so far, we have often talked about communication in relation to private corporations. However non-profit organizations play an important role in our society as well, giving support and help to vulnerable groups in need. Learning about their commination strategies can help us better understand the organizational challenges they face as a non-profit organization. Thus I decided to explore Singapore Children’s Society’s (SCS) use of social media and hopefully the findings can provide a glimpse into the use of social media and corporate communication strategies by non-profit groups.

Background of Singapore Children Society

Singapore Children’s Society is a voluntary welfare organization interested in protecting and nurturing children regardless of race and religion. With eleven operating service centres across Singapore, its four main services are “Vulnerable Children Services, Children and Youth Services, Family Services, and Research and Advocacy” (Singapore Children’s Society, n.d.).

Research Interest

Before I began the analysis, I came up with 2 research questions of interest:

  1. How, and for what purposes, has SCS made use of its social media platforms?
  2. How can SCS better leverage on its social media platforms to promote its cause and attract loyal donors/volunteers?

Data Collection

As part of the social media analysis, I then tracked SCS’s social media activity across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for 2 weeks; and these are the main findings:

  • Facebook
    • Highest social media reach (6,884 at the time of recording)
    • Consistent postings by SCS about their programs and activities
    • Highest number of likes belonged to posts that directly reached out to stakeholders, where SCS showed appreciation for donors’ donations to the charity
  • Twitter
    • Low social media reach (79 followers at time of recording)
    • SCS tweeted only twice during the tracking period and content of posts were exactly the same as Facebook
    • A search for the term “Singapore Children Society” showed three mentions with two mentions being news of SCS’s successful fund-raising efforts and one being its patron’s (Minister Teo Chee Hean) show of support for SCS’s programsTwitter mentions no title
  • Instagram
    • Considerable following and reach (272 followers at time of recording)
    • 5 posts were recorded during the tracking period, again, with all the exact same content as Facebook and Twitter
    • One of its posts regarding its school workshops actually resulted in one school expressing interest in SCS’s workshop
    • A search of the hashtag “singaporechildrenssociety” turned up 170 posts with these posts usually being about SCS’s outdoor events like its annual walkathon and other small, stand-alone eventsInstagram user post

Analysis of Findings

From the above social media findings and a quick comparison to its direct competitor (MCYC Community Services Society), I concluded that SCS has achieved a brand differentiation by amassing a considerable following online. However it has yet to successfully establish long-term relationships with its online followers. This can be achieved if SCS leverages on features and user behaviour of different social media platforms which is needed to target the different stakeholder needs and to drive a more personal and in-depth engagement.

Thus, I came up with an overarching social media strategy for SCS, involving suggestions for all three platforms.

Proposed Strategy – Different platforms, different needs

The main idea behind this strategy is to properly segment SCS’s stakeholders according to the type of social media platform each target group is using and to supplement each platform with different content and communicative strategies.

  • Facebook: SCS’s Facebook page is suited for reaching the wider audience and can thus be used to raise awareness of SCS as an organization or further establish its brand identity encapsulated in its core values. Rather than merely posting photographs, SCS can consider posting videos of their beneficiaries taking part in their programs to highlight their core values of being compassionate, committed, and professional.
  • Twitter: SCS’s Twitter account would be a good platform to develop long-lasting relationships with followers who have identified strongly with the organizational cause. One way to foster such a relationship with its followers, is to broadcast SCS’s long-term projects on Twitter as it would give followers tangible long-term goals to strive for together.
  • Instagram: Instagram is a good platform to engage followers for short-term campaigns and projects. Such programs usually include SCS’s walkathons, workshops, and concerts. Instead of using stock images for the promotion of their events and programs, SCS should use photographs which would be visually more appealing and also allow future clients have a visual connection to their work.

Conclusion

In answering the two initial research questions set out, I have hopefully provided further insight into the communication strategies of non-profit organizations that have until now, been overlooked. I strongly believe there is a need for non-profit organizations to market themselves and achieve sustainability because succeeding in establishing loyal stakeholders is the best way such organizations can help those most in need in our society.

Thanks for reading!

G2 | Group 3 | American Apparel

Founded in 1989, American Apparel has an estimated 242 retail stores selling trendy basic apparel across 20 countries. Targeted at teenagers, the company was popular for its edgy image and ethical, Made-in-America production process that does not involve sweatshop labour. But in recent years, American Apparel has faced much controversy – consumer and employee dissatisfaction, dwindling sales, and even filing for bankruptcy in 2015.

After a change in leadership, American Apparel has now undertaken a turnaround plan. Some changes include:

  • New mission: “be a financially sound, socially conscious, iconic brand that provides high quality American made products to consumers while maximizing stakeholder value”.
  • New target audience: 15 to 35 years old AKA millennials

Drawing lessons from their past issues and taking into account their strengths, our group has derived a proposal to help American Apparel revolutionize its brand. Thus our research question is:

“How can American Apparel leverage on its social media outlets to regain their foothold in the apparel industry?”

The specific objectives are:

Objective 1: To increase American Apparel positive brand awareness and recognition

Objective 2: To improve stakeholders’ engagement

Objective 3: Expand E-commerce to increase online sales

A quick analysis across social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc) showed us that negative sentiments toward American Apparel still dominate positive ones, and that for each social media platform, differing consumer sentiments dominate.

Synthesio sentiment-overview-1458455909693
Synthesio analysis of social media sentiments towards American Apparel
Comparison across platforms
Comparison of consumer behavior across social media platforms

This is a summary of consumer behavior across the platforms:

  • Twitter – negative sentiment, trending topics
  • Instagram – positive sentiment, AA products
  • Facebook – neutral sentiment, AA and its competitors

From these, we have developed 3 strategies, corresponding to each platform, to meet our objectives and realize our research question:

Strategy 1: Facebook Campaign – The Voice of AA’s Employees

Raise awareness to both employees and the public about AA’s change, from the employees’ perspectives through posting employee testimonials on Facebook and Instagram.

Strategy 2: Instagram & interactive catalogue campaign – Leveraging on ootd selfie culture

Promote e-commerce through consumer OOTD competition on Instagram with the hashtag #aninclusiveAA. While winners get to receive prizes, winning outfits will also be on discount on e-commerce site.

Strategy 3: Twitter Campaign – Capitalising on brand communities

Re-establish brand identity and increase positive brand awareness through engaging customers on Twitter. A Twitter competition will be held based off trending topics and the winning tweet will be designed into an AA t-shirt. Proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go toward a chosen non-profit organization.

We will be sharing more about our project, specifically these 3 strategies, in class. So stay tuned for our presentation!

Cheers 🙂

Dorothy Lee Chin Teng | Ko Yu Hui | Maisarah Ahmad Zohry | Tan Jing Yi | Toh Le Qi