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2020 social media forecast: From health check to a crystal-ball solution

Insights for 2019: Take every step cautiously

Since June of this year, political unrest has delivered a staggering blow to Hong Kong’s economy as well as the daily lives of its people.

Some marketers have even decided to put summer campaigns on hold due to the turmoil. This has only been compounded by the nature of marketers to take a passive and conservative approach when planning for marketing activities. In Q4 2019 (and even 2020) a “lab test” approach may not be suitable, as every cent counts.

At times like this, there are several frequently asked questions from marketers that still need to be properly addressed. Who will be our target audience? What are their interests? Which media channels should we use? Why should we use this creative approach?

Behaviour over metrics

The optimum solution to all those aforementioned questions stems from “behaviour”. Oftentimes, marketers perform “health checks” for clients, relying on social listening metrics of fan growth and the engagement levels of social media preferences. Yet, this information may not be enough if you’re aiming to uncover truly great insights.

Have you ever had that experience of going to a cha chaan teng where the server remembered your order from the day before? It might have even left you feeling warm inside the first few times.

But what if this persists for an extended period? The server only acted according to your “history” and “statistics”. And though it’s easy to recall previous orders, creating a tailor-made menu with new ingredients and a unique style is surely not as easy.

Similarly, marketers are like restaurant servers, while clients are like restaurant goers. How can we understand more about a customer’s taste?

One might start by researching what other restaurants and dishes they also like to gain helpful insights when preparing a new menu for the near future.

In order to facilitate a smoother workflow and a better result, we’ve developed our proprietary tool “KREWatch” to capture the footprints of social media users. We hope to gain a better understanding of the online behaviours of a target audience by looking at the social media channels they have followed, and even the physical locations they have checked into.

By uncovering the brands they like, the KOLs they have interacted with, and even the media channels they have subscribed to, we can easily map out an audience’s social media journey. These interest attributes offer a better understanding of the audience, essentially guiding us to develop a comprehensive persona for content planning. Hence, the “new menu” created would have higher relevance, while the “ingredients” and “style” used would be more reasonably creative.

Out-of-the-box analysis for an outstanding campaign

An international department store appointed us to promote its 2019 mega sales event. Based on the big data analysis from our KREWatch tool, we found our audience loves illustrations by Cuson and Chao Yat, as well as production channels such as Manner. We thereby created a campaign leveraging on these parties and created light-hearted original stories relevant to the sales event. The result was outstanding with up to 150,000 recorded social engagements. On the event’s launch day, there were 250,000 visits, while the entire event drew over 2,000,000 visitors. Our client also achieved a 40% sales increase for its online store’s performance.

The hidden power of FB group gossips and Google map reviews

For our shopping mall social retainer clients, we’ve continued to refine the client’s social media listening service scope as we upgrade our tool. Since online discussions have shifted from online forums to social media channels, the upgraded tool can now identify a persona’s interest by integrating buzz from Facebook groups and Google map reviews, thus providing the client with a completely new angle when formulating social campaigns and improving regular tenant content.

We were able to achieve 15% more than KPI with our page-like ad, and the engagements were always 5% to 7% better than KPI. This winning formula gained us a contract renewal even after going through the pitching process.

Data-driven campaign idea achieved 200% more engagement

Which influencer should we partner with? Why did we develop the storyboard this way? We owe the answers to our KREWatch data. An electronics brand assigned us to work on its Father’s Day campaign. Data analysis revealed the audience liked aspiring actress Karen Law, as well as content by “100 thousand reasons to aggravate my girlfriend”. Leveraging on this useful data, our video campaign outperformed the client’s expectations. Total impressions hit 2,000,000 and total engagement was up to 4,500. This campaign’s performance was 200% better than the client’s usual campaigns.

Better ad targeting for social and SEM

The secret to effective targeting for social media/digital media ads lies within one word – interest. A thorough understanding of an audience’s interests is the key to success. According to Facebook data, 22% of our ad engagements are above average. For search engine marketing performance on our client projects, according to Google data, our absolute top-of-page rate could reach up to 25.23%, much higher than other top players.

Crystal ball effect: we’ve got the answer

Understanding an audience’s vertical and horizontal interests, drawn from one’s active and passive social media behaviours, we can then further plan a targeted communication and sales strategy. From our experience and ad monitoring capability, our analysis can provide an even more accurate result estimation. Over 90% of our campaigns were correctly estimated and 10% of them outperformed. Instead of relying on quantitative analysis, we’re leaning toward the qualitative approach for the analysis of social media and digital campaigns. The data revealed provides so-called “crystal ball effects”, offering helpful insights with more projection power in terms of context, rather than mere figures.

2020: Survival of the fittest

Hence, looking forward to 2020, analysis is the key to survival, and also success. Be it a mini-scale SEM media placement or a massive integrated marketing campaign, we insist on running our KREWatch analytics tool to dig out different levels of insights when formulating creative ideas. The entrepreneurial spirit is an essential component of our DNA. And we’ll keep it alive as we leap into the new year.

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