COM0014 Blog #4 – B2C Case Study

COM0014 Blog #4 – B2C Case Study

Today I will be looking at a business that has upped the ante when it comes to using social media for marketing purposes.  While it may not be the obvious choice, one of the stars of Twitter and other social platforms is, undoubtedly, KFC.  While a fast-food chicken place may not seem like they have a sense of humour, they have had their fingers on the pulse of public interest for a long time.  Over the years, they have run a number of successful advertising campaigns that stick in people’s minds.  For instance, their Christmas hit in 2013 was “The Taste that Unites”, a hilariously catchy song that I even bought on iTunes so I could get the full version.

In recent years, though, social media has gained a lot of focus for the company.  They are very active on Twitter and like to engage with their public.  They even managed to bury an Easter Egg in their Twitter account, as one keen-eyed user pointed out when he realised they only followed 11 accounts on the platform: six random people called Herb, and all five of the Spice Girls.  When he pointed out that this was “11 Herbs & Spices”, KFC promptly rewarded him with his own painting of himself riding on the back of Colonel Sanders. 

KFC is also quick to send witty and sharp replies to people’s comments, which often makes for a refreshing change from the usual “DM us” response that a lot of company Twitter accounts provide.  They even had an ongoing flirtatious exchange with Tinder at one point, much to the hilarity of the Twittersphere.  All in all, KFC provide quality interactions and quirky responses that keep their audience engaged and interested in their brand.  This approach works well for them, and I imagine they will only take it to new heights in the future.

Anyone else fancy some chicken?

References

EDGE. (2017, October 19). .@KFC follows 11 people.Those 11 PEOPLE? 5 Spice girls and 6 guys named Herb. 11 herbs & spices. I need time to process this. Twitter. https://twitter.com/edgette22/status/921103567771131904?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E921103567771131904%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftime.com%2F5015515%2Fkfc-viral-tweet-reward%2F.

KFC Restaurants. (2013, November 29). KFC Christmas Advert 2013 – The Taste That Unites. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKcr1bZMV5s.

McCluskey, M. (2017, November 8). KFC rewards guy who Cracked 11 herbs and SPICES CODE. Time. https://time.com/5015515/kfc-viral-tweet-reward/.

Sars, F. (2017, November 20). 13 times KFC had a perfect answer ready on Twitter. The Best Social Media. https://www.thebestsocial.media/blog/13-times-kfc-perfect-answer-ready-twitter/.

COM0014 Blog #3 – Gamers as a Target Audience

The personal hobby I am involved in the most is gaming. Gamers are really underestimated as a target audience, having one of the lowest CPMs or “Cost Per Mille” on YouTube. CPM is how much an advertiser pays per one thousand impressions on their advertisements. The CPM for gaming, at least for one YouTube channel, is 56 cents while other categories on YouTube have a CPM somewhere between $2 and $24 (Carbonell, 2020).

Photo by FOX on Pexels.com

There is a stigma that gamers never want to spend money, but a study done by Google found that gamers spend more than average on entertainment, electronics, and high-quality food products and services (Thompson, 2015). This makes sense, as equipment for gaming mainly includes electronics such as computers, smartphones, and gaming consoles. Gamers like to spend long sessions gaming and are more likely to use food services such as Skip The Dishes to keep them in the zone. G-Fuel is a good example of targeting gamers, an energy drink company whose brand revolves about helping gamers game for longer and providing a healthy alternative compared to other energy drinks.

What ways could a company communicate to gamers? A lot of the gaming community is online on different social media platforms, specifically ones that showcase gaming videos such as YouTube or Twitch. I know even for me, most of the new games I hear about, or products related to gaming I learn about, are from gaming streamers or content creators. Having ads or sponsorships with content creators will help spread information that a new game or product related to gaming is out. Gamers also expect content from brands to provide entertainment or provide useful information. Here is an advertisement from G-Fuel that showcases an entertaining ad and why their strategy works for their target audience.

Do you know of another brand that targets gamers well?


References

Carbonell, M. (2020, December 31). How much money do gaming youtubers make from ad revenue? CBR. https://www.cbr.com/gaming-youtube-ad-revenue/.

Kenton, W. (2020, October 29). Cost per Thousand (CPM). Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/cpm.asp.

Thompson, K. (2015, December). Why gamers should be part of your audience strategy. Google. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-strategies/video/why-gamers-should-be-part-your-audience-strategy/.

COM0014 Blog #3 – Target Audiences

In the organization I am part of, students are our main audience. More specifically, undergraduate students who are about 18-23 years old. Our students are a diverse population with a ratio of about 60% female identifying to 40% male identifying. While communication is two-ways, we mainly give information to our students though we try to balance that out with efforts to get them to engage with us. We also regularly ask for feedback and ways we can improve to ensure that we’re meeting their needs.

Some ways that are effective in communicating to this audience is through quick, digestible content. This means Instagram stories, Instagram Reels, TikTok and anything else they can get the information from quickly and effectively. While our students do read their emails, those tend to be longer and they don’t always pick out what information is the most important. In our social media, we’re able to summarize those emails into quick information. This is all part of a larger strategy. You communicate with them in multiple ways, ensuring they have opportunities to get the information they need.

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

To us, it’s important that our target audience is also part of our team and building the strategy. This means that we have a team of students on our social media team that help us execute all our plans. They attend our meetings regularly, they help us build content and they help ensure that our goals are being met when it comes to communicating to our students. This is a key feature that I believe goes a long way and has allowed us to grow from 800 to 9,000 followers on Instagram in just a few short years.

COM0014 – Blog #4 – Being Social with Letterboxd

Social media is an essential tool for companies trying to connect with their customers. Having a strong presence and engagement is important to seem reliable and current. Businesses that choose to not have a social media footprint will often confuse customers just trying to find information. If a customer is looking for answers, they want to tweet or message a company to get a response. If a business relies on email or just phone calls, that’s a potential to lose a sale.

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

My favourite website is called Letterboxd, which is a social media site dedicated to film lovers. They have yearly memberships and are always trying to convince people to join their site. Their social media game is quite strong as they take an active role in their subscribers’ lives.

A recent example is when a user tweeted @letterboxd complaining that they used fleets so much. You can see the interaction above in which they only brought positivity and humour. To top it off, they used a gif for Big Hero 6 to tie in their movie branding. If you look across their Twitter, they are always having great interactions with their consumers and followers. I consider their social media to be a model of what every business should be.

What are some businesses that have ideal models of a strong social media platform? Let me know in the comments down below.

COM0014 – Blog #3 – Appealing to Film Fans

The dreaded question, what are some of your interests? For me, this question is often a tricky one. The answer to it is simple: I love movies. Watching movies, discussing movies, watching videos about other people discussing movies. It’s by far my favourite interest, despite people not understanding the community around it. For cinephiles, movies are a topic that can be discussed and analyzed for hours.

Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

It’s hard to describe film lovers since every one of them is so different. They can like a variety of specific genres and styles. For example, try to describe a music fan, where there are hundreds of kinds of music out there. An effective way to engage with a cinephile is to ask them about their favourite films, directors, etc. For example, I was making small talk with a friend of a friend, and we were out of things to talk about. Movies came up into the conversation, and we began to talk for 30 mins straight about it.

Cinephiles like behind-the-scenes information, small details that make a film or how it was made unique. They also enjoy talking about casting news, upcoming films, or awards surrounding the movie. If you’re a company trying to appeal to these audiences, try connecting your content to film-related things. Perhaps your tweet references an iconic film, or your commercial is a particular genre to excited specific groups

There are many ways to connect with people. Discovering a common interest amongst groups, while difficult, can be extremely rewarding to your company to make connections.

COM0014 Blog #3 – Target Audiences

COM0014 Blog #3 – Target Audiences

For this week’s blog post, I’m going to delve into one of my more recent hobbies: diamond painting.  As a result of successive lockdowns and the ongoing pandemic, I found myself in need of a new hobby.  I’ve always done a lot of crafts, mostly cross stitch, ceramics painting, and other more obscure activities.  However, when my mother took up this new craft and suggested I give it a go, I jumped at the chance.  Now, I have been sucked into the world of social media diamond painters.

Diamond painting with square drills from ColoRelaxation

The diamond painting community is surprisingly diverse.  I had expected it to be mostly middle-aged women (which it is), but there are a surprising number of men who enjoy it as well.  It’s popular with children, mostly girls, and women of all ages.  The men tend to be middle aged or older, though, and are in the minority.  People with this hobby can be split into three distinct groups: those who prefer round drills (diamonds), those who prefer square drills, and those who like both.  This hobby is popular all over the world and diamond painters flock to social media to exchange tips, ideas, and store recommendations. 

Completed round drill painting by VizuArts

The most effective tools for communicating with this audience would be blogs/vlogs and Facebook.  Community members enjoy displaying and sharing their completed work and exchanging information about the best places to buy from and how best to frame or fix the images once completed.  Blogs would be a useful way of sharing projects, as would sites like Pinterest.  However, the biggest communities of diamond painters can be found in Facebook groups.  There are many such groups, some organised by geographical location or language, while others have a global following.  Getting a message out about new products, for example, would be best done in these groups.

What hobbies do you have?  Do they have large followings or dedicated groups on social media?

References

ColoRelaxation. (2021). Tea Time with the Girls – DIY Diamond Painting. ColoRelaxation. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0014/7672/2735/products/Diamond_Painting6_1b3cfdbd-1ced-420f-bf72-88ee022408a6_1024x1024.jpg?v=1575428151.

Roberts, J. (2020). Diamond art basics for beginners: Diamond painting tools you’ll need & how to do diamond art kits: Activities. 30Seconds Mom. https://30seconds.com/mom/tip/19828/Diamond-Art-Basics-for-Beginners-Diamond-Painting-Tools-Youll-Need-How-to-Do-Diamond-Art-Kits.

VizuArts. (2020). 10 Ways to Display Your Diamond Paintings. VizuArts. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0073/4914/1567/files/IMG_0137_673ac7db-1bef-4c63-9632-478a4c28d297_large.JPG?v=1584297580.

COM0014 Blog 2 – Has the Internet Changed Storytelling?

With the creation of the World Wide Web, everything seemed to have changed, but in reality, only the number of people seeing the information and how quickly one can get access to it has.

You see, the internet allows people to spread their message to everyone, but people have been passing messages or stories for as long as humans have been around. From paintings done by cave people to Egyptian hieroglyphics, to more verbal forms of storytelling such as Shakespeare plays to stories passed on by Aboriginal Peoples. Even music has their own messages in them.

Photo by Lady Escabia on Pexels.com

Then the invention of the printing press allowed people to spread their message to more people, more quickly. From here, the differences between reading a story from a newspaper and reading a blog online seem small. Even most newspaper articles are online now because of the reasons I mentioned earlier: more people seeing it and faster access.

But more people seeing different messages and having faster access is a double-edge sword. Now people have access to so many stories, how do they determine which ones they want to read and trust? If someone were to choose an article, they might only look at it for a minute, and then never return. Having a unique storytelling style and a story that makes someone pause their day, even for 30 seconds, is the way to do this. Adding a hook at the beginning that challenges someone’s current opinion is another way.

Photo by Mau00ebl BALLAND on Pexels.com

Are these methods of storytelling really any different from 200, 500, or even 1000 years ago? The World Wide Web has just made them easier for people to see and more people can see it, but nothing else has really changed.

COM0014 Blog #2 – Storytelling and Communication Styles

Storytelling is a crucial element of digital communication, you must capture the audiences’ attention in this current fast-paced world. So how do you do that? You write something compelling, you hook them in and then you continue to give more details as the post goes on. You ensure you’re clear, concise, you use an active voice and you always double check for punctuation, spelling and grammar. You give the who, what, where, when and why/how, if these elements are not at the forefront, it will result in lower engagement and communication with your audience.

Storytelling has always been part of communication, newspapers, posters, etc. have just moved to a digital world. Newspapers were always telling compelling stories, resulting in both delivering essential news, opinions, birth and wedding announcements and more. Now, digital communication has allowed everyone to tell stories – from businesses, to news, to sharing personal news, we all have a platform now.

Though the world has evolved and digital media is bigger than ever, the fundamentals are still very relevant to much of the work we do. It’s important to remember the fundamentals and courses like this one help us to do so. So, next time you go to write a caption on social media or a blog, remember the fundamentals and remember the inverted triangle!

COMOO14-Blog #4 IKEA: An Interactive Online Case Study

Introduction

IKEA, is possibly one of the world’s most known furniture stores because of its quality products, customer service, and famous Swedish meatballs. However, in this blog I’ll be briefly, describing the company’s founder, history, digital platforms used for client engagement online, and a personal opinion, on whether their digital strategies are working or not.

Photo by Alexander Isreb from Pexels

Humble Beginnings and a Furniture Empire

Ingvar Kamprad, was born in 1926 on a Swedish farm. Ingvar an entrepreneur from a young age, started his first business at five years old and sold matchboxes and by the age of ten, sold stationary, herbal, and holiday supplies. Also, Ingvar suffered with Dyslexia but worked hard on his studies which his dad, financially reward him for as well. This eventually, prompted Ingvar at only seventeen years old, to open an IKEA store in 1943 which sells furniture and household items. However, the first stores outside Sweden opened in Norway in 1963 and Denmark in1969. The stores gained popularity in Europe quickly and expanded into other countries like, Japan, Australia and Canada where IKEAs would have grand openings with crowds of people lined up. Today IKEA, has 433 stores in 38 countries.

IKEA’s Online Platforms and Customer Engagement

  • Pinterest: IKEA uses visually attractive photos of furniture which are presented to international retailers in the United Kingdom, United, States, Canada, and other countries.

Personal Opinion on IKEA’s Online Interactions

In my opinion, IKEA, does a fantastic job at interacting with its audience on Facebook posing questions, using pictures, and posting videos for getting attention of potential customers. Furthermore, IKEA, takes advantage of others social media sites like Twitter, with interesting company campaigns pages by increasing the curiosity of its potential customers. Finally, IKEA, displays colorful photos on Pinterest which are for selected markets all over the globe.

How does the company you’ve selected interact online with its customers?

COMOO14-Blog#3: Target Audience Generation Z: What Are You About?

Introduction

Discovering ones’ target audience could be a multi-layered process. However, through my current research, Gen Z, might be the audience I’m looking for. Therefore, this blog will discuss some of the demographics like, age, diversity, and education. Also, certain demographics which include habits, values, or beliefs of Generation Z. For example, I’ve a personal passion for spreading awareness of environmental issues but so could they. Finally, discovering communication strategies that could engage this audience. Let’s find out!

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Demographics:

  • Gen Z is ethically diverse with 65% Caucasians are in the adult population but only 22% in the kid category. However, children with immigrant parents grew from 19%-25%.
  • Poverty in Gen Z dropped to 18%, the rate of high school dropout is at 4%, and the number of young adults that attended/finished college was 49%.

Psychographics:

  • Generation Z are concerned about uniqueness, ethics, and less about status. Gen Z make, 40% of the market, but unlike, their millennial counterparts, are more concerned with sustainable products and wants more individuality. Nevertheless, a study conducted in 2015 discovered, Generation Z wanted to create a consumer culture.
  • Generation Z has the greatest concern for the environment. Protecting the environment is a core value of this generation. Furthermore, being socially sustainable, is part of daily life. For example, although, millennials on surveys scored higher with concern for climate change, Gen Z, was more proactive by protesting and demanding action.

Communication Strategies to Reach Gen Z:

  • Make Purpose Known. Gen Z wants to know what you stand for.
  • Purposeful Brand. Be clear on this! Generation Z want a brand that has an impact.
  • Funny/ Positive. Gen Z audiences favor comedy around 62% and positive content at 32%.  

Who’s your target audience?