Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Social Media Campaign Idea For F&B That Will Blow Your Mind

Social media has become an important marketing tool for small businesses. It is low cost, easy to do and, if it goes viral, it will literally put a business on the map. The challenge however is to develop a campaign that can go viral.
One of the most successful campaign that CW Fong & Associates has run for a Singapore client is our Snap, Share and Save promotion for a restaurant. This campaign is well suited for F&B businesses and when we first ran it for a client, the client reported an increase of 20% in sales revenue.

top social media contest idea for restaurants

The concept is simple ... after dinner, when the customer is presented with his bill, he will be offered the option to Snap, Share and Save. If the customer decides to do a selfie (or a wefie) in the restaurant, share it on his social media account, the customer will be presented with a coupon for $5 or $10 off his next meal. Of course to ensure that the name of the restaurant is publicized in the pic, a nice wall should be provided for the customer to take the snap.

This promotion works well as it leverages on the word of mouth effect. Never mind that the customer was enticed to do it, what matters is that the customer's network sees it. Additionally, the coupon will also encourage the customer to make a repeat visit to the business.
For more social media contest ideas, FOLLOW us on Social Media Academy Singapore.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

5 Things You Should Know Before Hiring A Social Media Consultant

One thing we always tell our clients is that everybody knows social media, but not everybody knows social media. Social media's ease makes it a business with practically no barriers to entry. Literally anyone with a social media account (with some followers) can claim to be a social media consultant.

top social media consultant singapore
 When we first started in this line close to 10 years ago, there were few so called experts. Nowadays, everyone is an expert and they are trying to earn more from their knowledge. Understandably business owners are confused and don't know who to hire. The following are 5 things you need to know about the social media consultant before hiring their services.
  • Claims to Be An Expert. If any consultant tells you they are an expert in social media and knows everything about it, end your conversation there. The truth of the matter is that no one is can be a true expert in social media because social media is rapidly evolving on a daily basis and it is impossible to know everything. Anyone claiming to be an expert clearly doesn't know social media.
  • Practitioner or Academic. The next thing to ask your potential social media consultant is whether he is an academic (instructor) or a practitioner. Riding on the demand for social media services, many courses have appeared. Unfortunately most of these instructors are what we call academics. They read a lot about social media, and can tell you all the theories. But few of them have actually run a successful social media campaign. While being an academic is not wrong, businesses should hire consultants with real world experiences.
  • Currency and Continual Learning. The third thing you need to consider is whether they are current. Current in terms of whether they are working on clients accounts, and how they continually upgrade their skills and knowledge to remain at the cutting edge. The former is important as a social media company that is not serving a client rapidly becomes obsolete. For the latter, as mentioned earlier, social media continually evolves and a good social media consultancy invests in continual training for their team.
  • How You Found Them. The fourth thing to consider is how you found the consultancy. Of course word of mouth is best, but did you find them via social media. We often find it strange when a social media company advertise via services via main stream media. If they were really good in social media, there would be no need for this.
  • Payment Scheme - FREE. Wow! This offer is indeed too good to be true. And you know what they say about offers that are too good to be true. Being a social media consultant is a business. Businesses need money to survive. If a social media consultant offers to work with your company for free, there must be something really wrong with them. In the same light, good is not cheap. If the market rate is $3,000 per month and the consultant offers to do it for considerably less, we do think you should think again.
Hiring a social media consultant has increasingly become more confusing. While it is possible for businesses to do their own social media marketing, as consultants ourselves, we believe that consultants do bring value to the business owner. Just keep in mind the above 5 things the next time you are thinking of hiring a social media consultant and you should get value for your money.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Ultimate Revelation Of Crisis Communications

It always surprises us how businesses, even top brands, can mess up their crisis communications. While social media has definitely changed the information environment, the fundamentals of dealing with a crisis has essentially remained unchanged. Many companies fail as they do not recognise this fact and over-complicate their response during a crisis. 

In the new information environment, aside from requiring a faster response, the 5 essential elements of an effective crisis communications remains as ....
  • being OPEN
  • providing TIMELY information
  • being TRUTHFUL
  • communicating BROADLY
  • having a SOCIAL MEDIA presence
If we look at the 5 elements mentioned above, we can see that crisis communications is about getting the right information to the right stakeholder at the right time. While this may seem complicated, it is not. Stakeholders are people just like you and me, and effective crisis communications is simply about telling our side of the story.

The only thing that has changed over the years is the platform used. In the past, crisis communicators rely on intermediaries like main stream media, newspapers ads and press conferences to communicate with their stakeholders. Today, even though crisis communicators still rely on intermediaries, crisis communicators now have additional social media channels like company websites, Facebook page, YouTube videos and even Google Adwords.

As mentioned earlier, aside from the speed needed to deal with a crisis in today's new information environment, everything else remains the same. In short, crisis communications today is not significantly different from crisis communications in the past. What worked then, still works today as we are dealing with people.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Crisis Communications: Scoot's Customer Service Social Media Mistake

Scoot's 'funny' response to passenger's complaint falls short, draws ire of netizens.

In what is a classic case of a customer service social media faux pas, a light-hearted attempt to address a customer's complaint has back-fired.

A customer, named Candy, had posted a photo of her actual in-flight meal alongside the menu, which shows a much more appetizing image of the food. Candy lamented that the actual meal looked nothing like the photo, and that she had paid $18 for it.

customer service mistake scoot social media

Instead of addressing the customer's complaint, Scoot responded by saying, "Hi Candy, we're sorry that our food in person looks nothing like it did in picture. You know what they say.... #Selfies always look better." This response, however, did nothing to ease the situation, and actually made things worse. The response annoyed most netizens, who said that the attempt at humour fell flat. They also added that the complaint itself was not properly addressed in the response.

One of the cardinal rules in dealing with an unhappy customer is to acknowledge their anger. Minimizing it will only fuel further their anger and make matters worse. We are pretty certain that none of Scoot's employees would have said anything similar if they were facing Candy face to face. We are therefore surprised that would not do so online.

At CW Fong & Associates, we teach our clients that the rules of customer service (and in this case service recovery) do not change just because the complaint happens on social media. On the contrary, the amplification of social media makes it all the more important that a customer's complaint is addressed promptly and correctly.

In short, when dealing with an online service complaint, do what you would do if you are facing the complaint in person.


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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Crisis Communications: NParks Tembusu Tree Incident

[Crisis Communications] Tembusu Tree Incident
To allay public fears over the safety of large trees in Singapore, and to diffuse their responsibility for the recent incident, NParks issued a statement that trees in Singapore were inspected based on "international standards".
This is a standard approach used by most organizations and, in most instances, it would work. For NParks, it didn't and there were flamed by netizens. The use of "international standards" works for others as the average citizen will know of and accept that there are international standards for things like rail safety, food safety, etc. However, not many average citizens know of the existence of an international standards for tree inspection. They therefore reacted with skepticism and saw it as PR Speak.
Personally, our first reaction when I saw it on the news was to ask if there is even such a thing as an international standard for tree inspection.
Learning Point: While we can and should adapt best practices to manage a crisis, we must however contextualize it to our own situation.
nparks statement tembusu international standards


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Friday, February 10, 2017

Online Course: Managing Social Media Crisis

Social Media has fundamentally changed the information environment in which we operate. Crisis communications strategies that do not reflect this new environment are at best ineffective, and at worse, disastrous.  This course is designed for Business Owners, Brand Managers and PR Professionals who are responsible for the reputation and brand of their company.

At the end of this online workshop, participants will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to successfully identify a social media crisis, assess its impact on the organization and know the necessary steps to take to deal with the crisis. The course will also cover the impact of social media on PR and Branding, help participants understand the characteristics of a crisis, know the 5 essential elements of an effective crisis communications plan and use the SCAER Framework (a decision making tool for managing negative online mentions).
Use our link to sign-up at the promotional rate of only USD10 (Usual Price: USD30) - Online Social Media Crisis Course
online social media courses

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Crisis Communications: Where do you rebut negative online mentions

In recent years, the social media landscape has changed. Increasingly we find FB pages and websites dedicated to the exclusive propagation of one message at the expense of the truth. Singapore is not spared and anti-establishment Facebook pages and websites like All Singapore Stuff (ASS) and Temasek Review Emeritus (TRE) exist and have large followings. These are echo chambers where any call for objectivity or correction of misinformation are vehemently shouted-down.

So what is an organization to do when such platforms distort the truth and paints you in a bad light?

Some social media experts advocate that you should not give these platforms credibility by responding on their platform. These experts also believe that by responding on their platform, you open yourself up to further distortions and smears. What these experts advocate is to counter the misinformation using your own social media accounts.

This, we believe is wrong. Like it or not, the misinformation on these platforms will remain there for all to see. Yes, while it is an echo chamber and your response will be slammed, responding on their platform will get your side of the story out and this may correct the misperception that the 'neutrals' on these platforms have about your organization.

At CW Fong & Associates, one of the cardinal rules we have about countering negative deliberate attacks, is that the rebuttal must be present on the same platform that is propagating the falsehoods. Not being present on that platform only serves to perpetuate the falsehood and fuels the misperceptions people will have about your organization.

Facebook's New Algorithm Hits Hard

Changes to Facebook's algorithm hits hard. In a recent post for a client, despite the post achieving 283 shares in less than 24 hours,...