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Blog post
June 24, 2019

Eco trends in social media

Can we really understand the mysterious and random virality of social media? In an immense sea of content, how do we predict which trends will generate enough movement to form a wave?

Some trends can be picked ahead of their time, however the explosiveness of a random tweet, call-to-action or cat video is almost impossible to pin-point.

While trends will mostly fade back and be replaced with another, the occasional and rare trend can have legitimate and measurable impacts on society. A recent example of this is the anti-plastic straw movement that took off in 2018.

It started with a terribly sad and visceral video of a straw being removed from the nose of a sea turtle – it’s likely you’ve seen it yourself. The internet is filled with images and videos relating to the impacts of pollution and climate change on the wildlife, however this video happened to stick in the social media sphere long enough to cause a stir.

In the context of environmental upset and helplessness, the plastic straw became the epitome of our harmful single-use plastic culture. In the space of a couple of months, plastic straws were disappearing from venues and public discourse stigmatised their use. Massive chain restaurants such as McDonalds and Starbucks announced plans to ban the plastic straw, as well as some cities and countries introducing bans or taxes on similar single-use products.

While this is ultimately a positive movement with good intention, rejecting the use of plastic straws is an easy and short-term relief to an overwhelming frustration with single-use consumer culture. This year we’ve been seeing similar trends emerge with the rise of keep-cup popularity and debates over plastic bags in super markets.

These trends may be tokenistic, however, they are telling of widespread sentiment and signify the public’s desire to be heard and responded too.

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An organisation’s reputation is at its core, really how people feel about them. These feelings can be based on their interaction and knowledge of the brand, or their experience with the products and services the organisation provides. This reputation is important as it can often dictate the actions or choices audiences and buyers make, impacting an organisation financially and its ability to grow. If managed and measured, the value of an organisations reputation can safeguarded and used as a source of growth by strategically influencing key consumer’s consideration over the competition and the market more broadly.

People can interact directly with an organisation more than ever before, on social media, targeted advertisements, in-store experiences, customer support to name a few.

Given how wide reaching reputation is, how would your organisation make improvements given that it encompasses ‘everything’ an organisation does? What would be an efficient channeling of resources? 

Social media is a great place to listen to the voice of consumers and key audiences who choose to voice their experiences online. It provides insight into what your organisation has done well or needs to do better. When used in conjunction with additional data, like survey analysis it can also reveal what channels and content are contributing to this perception, and how this can be shifted. Drawing from online resources and social media, Isentia has established 3 drivers to identify and quantify an organisation’s reputation.

1st Driver: Strategy

The first driver is about the future direction of an organisation.

Does your organisation have a strong leader? Does your organisation seek to innovate? Does it shape the way society thinks? Is your organisation authentic in its messaging? Is your organisation likely to succeed? 

When an organisation shows these qualities, it raises consumer trust and confidence, but it’s important that this is authentic.  An example of this is Honestbee. Honestbee’s strategy covered several of these points - they were a fast expanding and innovative Singaporean startup in the online grocery delivery business. The founders focused on being perceived as successful, with plans for rapid expansion. 

However, In October 2018, Habitat, the world’s first tech-integrated multi-sensory grocery and dining destination launched. Three months after the launch of Habitat, it was discovered Honestbee was deep in financial debt. This was a shock to the industry  as Honestbee had a good strategy. Their downfall had been in their inauthentic messaging which resulted in the organisation losing trust of their consumers and investors.

2nd Driver: Culture

Culture is determined by the organisation having strong values and integrity. 

Is the organisation socially responsible? Are practices fair and transparent? Do they promote a balanced workplace? Is it an environment where people aspire to work? Do they have ethical relationships with their business partners? 

The growing number of organisations ‘going green’  is as good example of how the market can reflect and appeal to the values of today, in this case by demonstrating they're more environmentally conscious. In a 2019 Nielsen study, it was shown 1 in 3 consumers prefer eco- friendly products. Both Fairprice and Redmart, grocery chains in Singapore, also expressed growth in demand for their environmentally friendly products. 

An organisation’s workplace culture, including ethical behaviour can also negatively impact an organisation. For example, Google was challenged for the way cases of sexual harassment were handled within the workplace. They were also challenged for questionable deals in AI technology that resulted in a protest of 20,000 employees across their offices. Google’s poor behaviour was exposed which led to criticism from Amnesty International and a backlash on social media. 

3rd Driver: Delivery

Delivery is how good an organisation is at delivering on it’s day to day business. 

Do people perceive the organisations products are good quality? Are the products well received? Is the organisation well known in the industry? Do customers have a good experience? Are they successful?

A good example of how delivery can be analysed is in the sphere of reputation is the case of, Razer Inc. known as an organisation passionate about gaming. With a tagline ‘For Gamers. By Gamers’, they are well known in the gaming industry for supply gaming software, hardware and accessories. 

According to their annual report, their revenue last year, hit an all-time high of 712 billion US dollars.  While online reviews of their mostly praise the high quality of Razer products, a common complaint on sites such as trustpilot.com, Reddit and Forum Hardwarezone are about slow or unhelpful customer support. Some customers even expressed that due to the poor customer support for products, they were even considering switching brands.  This signals an opportunity. While Razer Inc has performed well financially and seemingly has a message that appeals to their key consumer, by improving their touchpoint experience and capacity to deliver they could potentially eclipse the competition and swing those who were apathetic towards other brands.

This is just a small glimpse of how your organisation’s reputation can be analysed and measured by a combination of social media data and more traditional market research techniques. Executing a broad analysis of your organisation based on the 3 drivers of Strategy, Culture and Delivery, we can assist in gauging your organisation’s reputation and how it fares against competitors. With a clear metric for overall reputation and a breakdown of performance by driver, Isentia's Reputation Analysis helps your organisation identify areas for improvement and where there are opportunities to strengthen PR, marketing and engagement strategies. 

Request a sample of Isentia's Reputation Analysis here.

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Blog
Why does Reputation matter

An organisation’s reputation is at its core, really how people feel about them. These feelings can be based on their interaction and knowledge of the brand, or their experience with the products and services the organisation provides. This reputation is important as it can often dictate the actions or choices audiences and buyers make, impacting […]

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Photo of stakeholders engaging with insights as part of an organisation strategy

Insights promote action and change with stakeholders

Research, measurement and evaluation needs to promote action with relevant stakeholders including the general public. It’s easy to fall into a trap of measuring something because you think you should or because someone has asked for a few charts on a communication team's activity. But your stakeholder engagement strategy is missing an opportunity to create long term impact with key audiences.   

Stakeholders (internal and external) are an effective resource for driving change and shifting narratives. Stakeholders are a crucial avenue for advocacy of communications activity but are usually not provided with the necessary information. They need motivation to change their behaviour and support your objectives. 

A project that champions this is the Media and Gender research the Isentia insights team produced with Sport New Zealand. This research examines how women are portrayed across sports news in New Zealand and shines a light on where there is work to do. The research itself is engaging and builds rich insight into an area often not looked at on this scale. The most success lies in how research helped motivate and support behaviour change within the primary stakeholder - the media.

Move stakeholders with data-led evidence

Editor of The LockerRoom, Suzanne McFadden, said this study encourages national representation of women in sport,

“A surge in women's sport in NZ media, but a fall in female bylines, highlight the latest Sport NZ study - which also shows where LockerRoom leads the pack.”

Article referencing the research and how it's impacting women in sports coverage by online news publication, RNZ. An example of stakeholder engagement strategy
Article referencing the research and how it's impacting women in sports coverage by online news publication, LockerRoom. An example of stakeholder engagement strategy in action.

Jennie Wylie, Netball New Zealand’s Chief Executive said to Radio New Zealand, that media coverage plays a vital role in female participation in sports,

"What we do know is the cost of our young people not participating in sport, and the gap for young women and girls in that participation, it plays out in terms of media coverage, so if you can't see it, you can't be it."

Sport New Zealand was able to build a stakeholder engagement strategy using data and research that goes beyond numbers. It encourages those at the source of reporting to strive to improve. 

Here are some tips on how to rethink your approach to research and evaluation, so your organisation can do the same: 

4 considerations for your stakeholder engagement strategy

1. Don’t only focus on your own activity

It’s easy to fall into the measurement trap of focusing on your own activity and neglect your audience and sector. It’s important to understand if your communication is successful, but you're missing key opportunities (and threats) that you can only see if your research lens is wider.

2. The value of pre-research

Research performs at its best when used to determine where you should be going instead of only where you’ve been. Bring research into your planning early and give insight into what your audiences already experience as well as their responses and their preferences, so you can tailor your organisation’s activity based on evidence. 

3. Use your evidence to generate conversations

Engage all your stakeholders in the research process and as early as possible to increase their investment in the results, regardless if it means changing their own behaviour. The more measurement and research is collaborative and unites stakeholders within a common purpose, the more effectively it will spur change.

4. Measure more than once

Changing audiences and information requires your organisation’s research lens to focus on what's relevant to your objectives and audiences. 

measurement lens graphic for stakeholder engagement strategy.
A blue and white gradient graphic

Talk to the experts about how Isentia insights can refocus your stakeholder engagement strategy

Ultimately, research should help drive conversations, and in those conversations is where you can create change. It doesn’t always work the first time, so be persistent - it’s worth it! 

Contact us to discuss how we can create a tailored measurement programme that supports your goals.

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Thought Leadership
A targeted stakeholder engagement strategy in 4 steps

To have an impactful stakeholder engagement strategy you must use the right data-led insights to drive interest in your objectives.

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The state of the electric vehicle industry in Malaysia

Malaysia's automotive industry is one of the more environmentally-friendly industries. Various parties, such as the government and local automotive industry players, have continuously sought to promote electric vehicles (EVs). 

The subject of electric vehicles (EV) is growing among the Malaysian public in the social media sphere due to continuous efforts to promote EVs by various parties such as the government, local automotive industry players as well as companies directly involved in several aspects of EV (charging facilities/networks etc.)


Using data from Pulsar, Isentia analysed the conversations surrounding the topic of EV amongst Malaysia's social media users.

 

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How did discussions involving electric vehicles in Malaysia go?

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In this word bank powered by Isentia’s vast datasets, some of the most common keywords used by Malaysians when discussing EVs, apart from the topic itself, are 'drive', 'chargers', and 'battery'. EV is also associated with ‘future’ and ‘expensive’.

Across the country, social media users agreed that Malaysia is lagging behind neighbouring nations (such as Indonesia and Thailand) in EV facilities and vehicle development. They also agree that EVs are only accessible to rich people in the country because of a lack of affordable options and that the Malaysian government and other players should do more to promote electric vehicles as a practical form of transportation.

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What are the audience segments that have been talking about electric cars online?

Malaysian social media users who are more interested in electric vehicles are most interested in watching movies and TV. The three main audience segments include the Conservatives, Technology Enthusiasts, and Innovation Seekers. They are predominantly male audiences aged between 18 and 24. 

They also have high media affinity with Malaysia's prominent media outlets, such as Astro Awani, Bernama, and technology-focused outlets, such as Amanz and Digital News Asia.

 

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Conservatives follow social media accounts of mainstream news outlets and the government (ministers, ministries, agencies etc.) They believe government policies would benefit their daily lives, such as EV-related ones.

Technology enthusiasts seek out exciting posts on new technologies and actively participate in discussions surrounding them. They are advocates of technologies that would make the environment that they live in better, as well as efficient technologies.

Innovation seekers are actively sharing news and involved in conversations about innovations that enhance the development of industries relying on the newest technology. They tend to evolve their lifestyles accordingly and embrace innovations available at their disposal.

 

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What are the catalysts of EV discussions among Malaysians?

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Several points between April and July 2022 peaked due to active discussions among Malaysians on EV:

Launch of Automotive High-Tech Valley on 14 April - The launch would assist in positioning Malaysia as a hub for EV manufacturers and component suppliers to the ASEAN market.

Foxconn announced plans to build a facility in Malaysia on 19 May - Taiwanese company Foxconn plans to build a chip production facility in Malaysia with Malaysia's Dagang NeXchange Berhad to fulfil the demand for EV semiconductors.

Criticism of parking at charging facilities on 10 June - There was criticism towards road users in Malaysia who parked their vehicles at EV charging facilities.

Samsung develops plant in Malaysia on 21 June - Samsung SDI Energy Malaysia Sdn Bhd announced that they are developing a RM7 billion plant in Negeri Sembilan to pioneer the EV battery cell industry in the country.

First Range Extended EV developed in Malaysia on 21 July - Mimos Berhad has developed the first Range Extended Electric Vehicle (RE-EV) in Malaysia with the cooperation of Motosikal dan Enjin Nasional Sdn Bhd (Modenas) and Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP).

Get in touch with Isentia today to learn more about what consumers are saying about your brand. 

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This blog was produced using data from our sister company 
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Isentia Malaysia Case Study | Electric Vehicle (EV) Conversations in Malaysia’s Social Media Sphere
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How the recent Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code is changing the rules around skincare advertising in Australia.

What has an influencer endorsement or testimonial influenced you to buy lately? Would you have purchased it otherwise? Well, you may see less of this type of advertising in the coming years in Australia. Using Pulsar's recent report on the online conversation on sunscreen and SPF, we can understand how audience intelligence and media monitoring can help organisations direct and target their messaging and operations in response to (for example) significant regulatory changes. 

Last year the Therapeutic Goods Administration announced the release of the new Therapeutic Advertising Code that came into A pivotal reform to the code involves restrictions on testimonials and endorsements of therapeutic goods in advertising, including social media. Influencers were flurrying about how they would continue to promote therapeutic products like sunscreens, skinny teas, collagen powders and the like within Australia. 

The code allows for genuine, unpaid testimonials in advertising. Still, it prohibits influencers from making testimonials or endorsements based on their own experiences due to using a product. They can only stick to communicating the product's aims and purpose as claimed by the product's labelling and instructions. The recommendation must also align with the product's purpose, as the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods records.

So why is this happening, and how can influencers still operate under these new regulations? The TGA ensures that consumers can trust that recommendations are unbiased without the influence of incentives, including gifts. There is a further requirement for social media influencers to include mandatory statements in their advertisements depending on the type of product and its availability to the public. The TGA also highlighted that they aren't making any unusual changes but are just aligning advertising on new platforms with code that previously targeted more traditional forms of advertising.

The code requires all testimonials that are in breach to have been taken down by July 1st.

But some influencers have not taken to the new regulations well, believing the new rules will hinder a critical source of information for consumers and audiences. Australian sunscreen (Naked Sundays) owner Samantha Brett, told the Sydney Morning Herald Emerald City she believes sunscreen should be exempt from the laws asking, "How else will those who are influenced by social media, particularly Millennials who are most at risk of melanoma, be encouraged to use sunscreen every day."

On August 22nd, Got-to Skincare's founder Zoe Foster Blake posted a statement on Instagram to announce the release of a new SPF 50 sunscreen product and how the code impinges people's sun protection practices and knowledge.

“I believe elements of the code have the potential to reverse the momentum public health, cancer awareness groups, and skin specialists have been building for years to ensure Australians wear sunscreen daily”.

Foster-Blake goes on to highlight how some still find sunscreen polarising and unappealing. 

“Many consumers still believe sunscreen is gross, thick, greasy. It’s not.”

But are younger demographics, influenced by social media, confused about sunscreen use? Social discussion would say the answer is yes. Where to apply, how many times to reapply and in what settings is wearing sunscreen necessary are some questions people are asking.

Social media conversation around sunscreen is evolving and recorded by Pulsar as a therapeutic good that goes beyond a necessary use case. Sunscreen is feeling the influences of climate change activists and holistic beauty trend-setters tied to long-term health values.

@sethobrien using the recommended amount of sunscreen for the first time #skincare @cerave ♬ original sound - Sethobrien

Promoting sunscreen and daily SPF use on social media has a positive impact on long-term health and beauty maintenance and protection against skin cancers; 51.1% of Australians' reasons for applying sunscreen, as discussed in online conversation, is to protect against skin cancers.

There is still confusion around SPF levels and growing concerns around online conversation promoting misinformation that sunscreen use increases the likelihood of ailments like melanoma, reportedly one of the most common cancers in young adults.

Social media conversation and prolific posting of beauty & wellness-related content frame spaces where skincare brands can find their niche. Brands like Cerave and Supergoop are finding ways to differentiate their branding to appeal to specific communities (meet their communities in the full report). Is this new code holding social media influencers to account for their sway over masses of followers? Or is it taking away a vital information-sharing source? Time will tell if the regulations will significantly impact beauty and wellness influencer marketing in Australia. However, the effects may be taking hold now. If you look up sunscreen and SPF on tiktok, you will notice a decrease in related content since the end of 2021.

Avoid the risk of getting burnt and check the code to ensure you’re not in breach.

Discover the full report

Want to understand how therapeutic goods are driving beauty trends and changing the intersection between health and beauty? Download Pulsar’s report “Applying audience intelligence to Sunscreen”.

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Will wellness brands need to rethink how they use and apply influencer marketing?

How the recent Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code is changing the rules around skincare advertising in Australia. What has an influencer endorsement or testimonial influenced you to buy lately? Would you have purchased it otherwise? Well, you may see less of this type of advertising in the coming years in Australia. Using Pulsar’s recent report on the online […]

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