5 a sec Social media strategy

BACKGROUND OF THE COMPANY

5 a Sec is a dry cleaning business located in the center of Luxembourg. Although the services that this business offers are relatively outdated because most people now have their own washing machines/dryers at home, there are still many people looking for dry cleaners when it comes to certain items of clothing.

5 a Sec currently does not have any social media presence, resulting in less people using the business’ service, thus limiting the business’ ability to generate revenue. Therefore, social media strategies need to be identified that would allow 5 a Sec to attain more customers, enabling it to gain market share and achieve a stable position in the market.

Business Goals

In order to decide which Social Media strategy will be the best for 5 a Sec, the business goals of the company must be first analysed. As dry cleaning is a fairly old-fashioned yet necessary concept, there is a need for 5 a Sec to reinvent itself using social media; enabling it to reach a new client base and to gain the recognition it deserves. Therefore, one of the key business goals that 5 a Sec has is that of enhancing is presence within Luxembourg through increased marketing and promotion of the brand itself. Also, the fact this is a traditional concept can be used to further promote the reputation that 5 a Sec has, highlighting the essential, perfect service it provides. It is also essential that 5 a Sec extends its cliental base in order to gain more business and therefore more market share. In order to do this, there needs to be an in-depth research into who the customers are, and from here, the social media strategy can begin to be developed.

Customer Segments

The main customer segments that 5 a sec will attempt to focus on are adults, mainly parents or businessmen who require the services that we offer. After establishing who the target audience of our social media strategy should be, we will then need to look into the social media activities of these segments in order to use social media to the maximum. A study entitled The Demographics of Social Media users shows that in 2012, 67% of Internet users use Facebook, and therefore it is clear that social media should be a key area of focus. Furthermore, we can look to any potential competitors and analyse the social media platforms they are engaged upon. Once we have established the most popular platforms among our target audience, we can decide where to focus our attention in order to achieve our business goals through our social media strategy.

WHAT Social Media SHOULD WE IMPLEMENT?

There are many different strategies that 5 a Sec could implement in their business. Examples of social media strategies include, but are not limited to: online communities, microblogging, forums, podcasting, RSS and folksonomy. Most of these can also be applied to 5 a Sec.

Online Community

The first social media strategy that 5 a Sec could use is presenting their business in an online community. An online community refers to “a virtual community whose members interact with each other primarily via the Internet”. An example of an online community is Tripadvisor. Momentarily, 5 a Sec does not have any presence on online communities, limiting people’s awareness of the business. Therefore, if 5 a Sec were to be mentioned on such communities, many people would automatically refer to the business if they were looking for a dry cleaner in Luxembourg. For example, in collaboration with online communities such as Tripadvisor, 5 a Sec could ensure that if anyone types in ‘dry-cleaner in Luxembourg’ into Google, the Tripadvisor page outlining 5 a Sec’s services would show up first. This would lead to people searching for dry cleaners using 5 a Sec first when needing a dry cleaner. This example strongly shows how if 5 a Sec were to attain a presence in online communities and develop this social media strategy, the business would be able to compete more with other businesses in the market.

Microblogging

Another social media strategy that 5 a Sec could implement to attain more success is microblogging, a social media strategy that refers to the idea of blogging and posting limited content and using only 2-3 lines of text. Perhaps the most famous microblogging site is Twitter, a platform that allows its users to post pictures and share videos etc. with a maximum of 140 characters of text allowed per ‘tweet’. If 5 a Sec were to create a Twitter account, many Twitter users in Luxembourg would be able to find the business on the microblogging platform. With the help of microblogging platforms, 5 a Sec could post what deals/services the business is currently offering to consumers (e.g. get 3 pieces of clothing dry-cleaned, pay for two and get the third one free), automatically updating customers on offers. Since the amount of text posted with such offers is always limited on microblogging platforms, customers would be informed rapidly, without having to read a lot of text, allowing 5 a Sec to reach a high number of consumers and encouraging many customers to respond to the offers. This is because if little text is used, customers will not mind reading about the offer whereas if an entire paragraph is posted about an offer, customers will most likely not have the time to read everything. Therefore, microblogging can be a very successful strategy for 5 a Sec since it would allow the business to expand consumers’ awareness of the brand and the services it offers, again, increasing the amount of customers for 5 a Sec.

Online Forums

Moving on to another social media strategy, 5 a Sec could also attempt to improve their presence in online forums, sites where people can discuss products, topics etc. Forums allow customers to publish their opinions about the service that a certain business offered them. Currently, 5 a Sec has a very limited presence on online forums. If 5 a Sec had a greater presence on forums, this would allow customers to express their opinions about the service. Most likely, customers would express positive feedback and encourage other members of the Luxembourgish community to use the service. Additionally, if one member of an online community posted into the community asking a question like “does anyone know a good dry cleaner in Luxembourg?”, it would be useful if other community members would answer “Yes, 5 a Sec is a dry cleaner – contact me if you want contact details etc.”. The idea of people asking questions and other members responding with 5 a Sec when being asked about a good dry cleaner, underlines the idea that an increased presence on online forums would result in more customers for the business.

Blogs and Videoblogs

Blogs and videoblogs would also be a very effective strategy for 5 a Sec to use. This strategy refers to websites “that are usually set-up and run by an individual”. One form of blogging that has increased significantly over the last five to ten years is fashion and lifestyle blogging. This refers to mostly women, but also men, publishing blog posts about their daily life as well as the clothes that they’re wearing and services that they use. One way that 5 a Sec could attain a presence on blogs and videoblogs is if they encourage bloggers to mention their brand in blog posts. For example, if a fashion blogger (in this case female) were to take a dress to the dry cleaners (5 a Sec), 5 a Sec could encourage her to write a quick post about 5 a Sec, her experience with the business and how content she was with the service. As a result of this, people who read the fashion blogger’s blog would be made aware of 5 a Sec, and would most likely also use 5 a Sec the next time they need a dry cleaner. Therefore, by giving bloggers the opportunity to present 5 a Sec on their websites, just like with other social media strategies, many people would become a lot more aware of 5 a Sec, most likely improving the business’ revenue and market share.

RSS

Moving on to one of the last few strategies that 5 a Sec could implement, RSS needs to be mentioned. “RSS is a web feed that allows users to be automatically updated with new content from the web. For example, if a user subscribes to an RSS feed on a web page, then every time a new article is published, the user will receive the article automatically, via a program called a reader”. This strategy could be useful for 5 a Sec because if consumers are subscribed to the RSS feed on the 5 a Sec webpage, they would automatically receive alters with updates and information about the business. This could make it very easy for 5 a Sec to notify customers when to pick up their dry cleaning and could inform them about new services offered by the business. By allowing customers to receive immediate data and information about the business, many customers would be increasingly content with the services offered by 5 a Sec, thus resulting in them returning to the business in the future and maybe even referring the business to friends and family. Therefore, one can once again see that the implementation of social media strategies such as RSS would definitely benefit 5 a Sec in the retention of customers and the acquiring of new ones.

Folksonomy

The last social media strategy that 5 a Sec should implement is Folksonomy. Folksonomy “is a way of categorizing internet content through collaboration. When users upload content to the internet, they can also associate keywords to the upload”. One social media platform that works closely with Folksonomy is Instagram. This platform allows users to upload pictures with certain ‘hashtags’ and if one searches for a specific hasthag, e.g. #drycleaning, all of the posts that are associated with this topic will show up. If 5 a Sec had an Instagram page, they could repeatedly post photos of the business, the services it offers etc. This would result in people searching for the hashtag #drycleaning, upon which they would discover 5 a Sec. Additionally, 5 a Sec could even tell customers to post about their experience with 5 a Sec, encouraging them to post pictures etc. with certain hashtags, adding to the collection of photos associated with 5 a Sec appearing if anyone were to look for #drycleaning. By broadening its presence online through the use of folksonomy, 5 a Sec could definitely acquire a lot more customers and improve its overall presence in the market.

The Future

With the increase in diverse social media strategies available to businesses worldwide, it is evident that 5 a Sec needs to implement strategies if they want to improve the business' position in the market. If 5 a Sec wants to acquire more customers and be able to compete with other businesses in the market, social media strategies need to be implemented as soon as possible. If 5 a Sec follows the suggested strategies outlined in the previous paragraphs, it is guaranteed that the business will succeed and acquire an increased number of customers over the next few years.

Sources - http://www.investopedia.com/university/implementing-small-business-social-media-strategy/research-platforms.asp, power point information given in class

Credits:

Created with images by terimakasih0 - "washing line pier" • Free Grunge Textures - www.freestock.ca - "Luxembourg Grunge Flag" • joshkehn - "Brooklyn Bridge Steps" • bazzadarambler - "... coat hanger clear - out." • LoboStudioHamburg - "twitter facebook together" • FixiPixi_deluxe - "cobweb night smoke" • yourschantz - "blog blogger blogging" • the UMF - "Social Media v2" • http://tvorbaweb-stranok.sk - "Blog" • TEIA MG - "rss" • psd - "Folksonomy" • cogdogblog - "No Question for Me" • Mr Moss - "Venetian Laundry"

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