This project provides a framework for the social media marketing (SMM) of the Expo2020 in Australia. The choice of country is explained; and basic facts are provided about the Australian economy, culture, and international relations. The SMM objectives are set concerning the promotion of the exhibition to the Australian constituencies, particularly to the identified segments of Millenian Youth, Innovators, and Entrepreneurs. Each market segment is described, including social media use, habits, and preferences. The marketing framework for SMM is explained, detailing each segment’s and every social media platform’s objectives and strategies. The proposed marketing framework for social media platforms comprises the rationales for the segment-specific objectives and details, the content strategy, posting schedule, and provisions for interactivity within each platform. Implementation and evaluation plans are included.
SMM of Expo2020: Australia
The Expo 2020 is a “mega-event” organized by the World Expos and scheduled to take place in Dubai, the UAE, from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021 (The Official Website of Expo2020, 2015). Titled “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” The Expo2020 is a unique exhibition that touches on a variety of industries within the private sector as well as the public sector, which purpose is to shape the vision for future sustainability and progress globally (The Official Website of Expo2020, 2015). The Expo 2020 aims to share solutions and present opportunities for implementing sustainability technologies, and the UAE will play a central role as a host country in showcasing its own vision and tools. The Expo 2020 organizers are tasked to prepare an event that is both inspiring and educational, so the attendees of the exposition could benefit from both entertaining and thought-provoking experience (The Official Website of Expo2015, 2015). It is estimated that the Expo2020 will be attended by millions of people; and it is the first exposition that will invite more visitors from overseas than the host country, individuals as well as national and international organizations and businesses (The Official Website of Expo2020, 2015).
Many countries encounter difficulties as the outcomes of climate change and growing population put a strain on natural resources. This is why it is essential to develop capacities to manage the environmental change. During the Expo2020, the UAE is challenged to showcase its successful coping strategies that can be viewed at the exhibition spaces and discussed at the event’s seminars (The Official Website of Expo2015, 2015). The sub-themes of the exhibition are sustainability, mobility, and opportunity: it will propose solutions for mobility of people and goods, call for sustainable use of natural resources, and create opportunities for joint development of technology as well as exchange of information and ideas.
The UEA invited artists from the Middle East and other countries to create illustrations on the key themes of the exposition. In addition, there is an Expo Live component of the Expo2020, where the attendees can review the proposed solutions in more detail. Expo Live will take place in the exhibition’s Innovation Pavilion and the Innovation Lab (The Official Website of Expo2020, 2015).
The Expo2020 needs to be marketed as it is taking place in the Middle Eastern country for the first time; and for the majority of the UAE population, this is the first encounter with the World Expos event. Moreover, the participants from other countries need to be informed and inspired to attend the exhibition. Therefore, the organizers of the Expo2020 need to develop a marketing framework that incorporates marketing activities directed at the newcomers to the World Expo as well as a marketing plan promoting the Expo2020 to the target audience globally.
Australia: Economics, Culture, and International Relations
Australia is one of the countries to which the Expo2020 will be marketed. The choice of Australia was based on the country’s proximity to the site of the exposition in the UAE. In addition, Australia has the established status of an economically stable country. Therefore, the marketing objectives will be achievable in the sense that the organizers of the Expo2020 can successfully promote the exhibition to the Australians and accommodate a large number of visitors from this country. Moreover, Australia is known for its experience relating to the main concepts of the Expo2020. It has built sustainable cities and developed infrastructures in different climatic conditions. It is also considered a global leader in innovative technologies for water, transport, and urban sustainability (Australian Trade Commission, 2015), making it a suitable candidate for contributing to the exhibition.
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Australia is an open economy. More than 70 percent of the country’s GDP is attributed to the services sector. It has a strong financial system, low public debt, and low unemployment: all of these contribute to a stable economic growth. Australia was not affected by the recent global financial crisis (“Australia, the World Factbook,” 2015).
The Australian society comprises numerous ethnic groups of the European and Asian origin and a small percentage of aboriginals. More than ten languages are spoken in the country; and English is the national language, with 77 percent of population speaking it (“Australia, the World Factbook,” 2015). Its population is 23 million people, and 42 percent of the population fall in the 25 to 54-year-old cohort. The majority of people live in urban areas (“Australia, the World Factbook,” 2015).
Being a federal democracy, Australia has diplomatic representation in other countries and is the participant of international organizations. There are no transnational issues that could preclude it from conducting international relations with any country (“Australia, the World Factbook,” 2015). Australia pursues active international trade, supporting collaborative relations of overseas and Australian companies and promoting investment (Australian Trade Commission, 2015).
Segment Profiles for the Expo2020 Marketing Framework
Three market segments were identified for inclusion in the Expo2020 marketing framework.
The first segment, MillenianYouth, includes young men and women aged 15-30 years old who are at ease with the new millennium’s technologies, from which the segment name derives. These young people are interested in and concerned about global issues such as sustainability and development. They are economically self-sufficient and hold part-ime or full-time jobs.
The second segment comprises a larger group of women and men aged 25-65 years old who value innovation. For this segment, sustainability is an important issue that is part of their lives. They think about or have implemented innovative solutions, for example, solar energy panels that diminish the need for traditional energy sources. This segment can be divided into sub-segments. The sub-segment of the innovators in the academia is involved in generating and spreading the knowledge about innovations. The second sub-segment of the innovators are concerned with applying innovative solutions to practice and are participants of sustainability-focused organizations and movements in Australia and globally. The people of this segment are economically self-sufficient, hold full-time employment, are well-educated, and make well-informed decisions.
The third segment includes adult men and women aged 30-65 years old, whose main common feature is their trade. The representatives of this segment are businessmen and executives who take an interest in sustainability services and products. This group would likely visit Dubai for the purpose of networking, learning about the business potential of the city, and forging new business deals. The common features of this group are wealth, high level of education, openness to innovations, an interest in travels, and a global lifestyle.
Segment-Wise Social Media Usage and Habits
Each market segment included in the marketing framework has distinct interests and needs that are fulfilled by their choice of social media platforms. In addition to having a preferred social media platform, all segments are marked by district habits of social media use while preferring certain content types and communication styles.
Facebook is the preferred platform of the Millenian Youth. Recent data show that the 25 to 34-year-old cohort spends the largest amount of their online time on Facebook (“Australian internet social media statistics,” 2015). The 15 to 24-year-olds use Facebook to find information about products, services, and events; they do not consult the print media and communicate with the help of instant messages (“Millenian teens digital explorer,” 2015). Facebook is accessed on average 30 times per week, and 27 percent of youths use it daily (“How, when, where and why Australians are accessing social media,” 2015).
Snapchat is the segment’s second most popular social media platform. Snapchat, like Facebook, has an instant messenger, which makes it popular with teens and young adults. Snapchat has the highest number of users who are under 20 years old and access it more than 30 times per week ( “How, when, where and why Australians are accessing social media,” 2015). As of May 2015, Snapchat has 100 million daily users (“Australian internet social media statistics,” 2015).
Based on the findings of the recent study on millennium teens, this segment has a preference for the content of entertaining nature. The youths prefer a non-formal language and value images and videos more than text.
Innovators have a preference for Facebook, the most popular social media platform among both men and women. The Facebook user base in Australia is estimated to be around 14 million monthly users, whose age range is 15-65 years and who access this platform 30 times per week (“Australian internet social media statistics,” 2015).
Moreover, this segment has an established and growing interest in Twitter (“Social Media Statistics in Australia”). With a base of almost 3 million users by June 2015, Twitter is accessed on average 11 times per week (“How, when, where and why Australians are accessing social media,” 2015); yet, its use is likely to increase around the time when events take place.
This segment prefers a non-formal language. Popular content types are text as well as visuals such as photos that spur online conversations and sharing. In addition to valuing the content of informative nature, which can be utilized in the academia and international organizations setting, the representatives of the segment actively pursue the content on lifestyle, celebrities, and events.
Entrepreneurs have a definite preference for LinkedIn since this social media platform allows to access and exchange information of professional character. The Australians who use LinkedIn have high incomes and are professionals (“How, when, where and why Australians are accessing social media,” 2015). The segment’s main concern is the content that meets their need for information. On LinkedIn, they establish new business relationships, add professional contacts, and consult the articles written by other professionals. LinkedIn is accessed on average only 7 times per week per person (“How, when, where and why Australians are accessing social media”); and the scarce use of social media can be explained by limited free time, which is common for working professionals.
This segment wants to communicate in a formal language and prefers text to images. Their most popular promotional themes touch on various aspects of career and business-related information.
Expo2020 SMM Objectives for Australia
The Expo2020 marketing framework includes a number of countries besides Australia. Since the organizers of the Expo2020 would like to promote the Expo2020 to the target audience in many countries, the Expo2020 is marketed across diverse platforms and in several languages, i.e., Arabic, French and English (The Official Website of Expo2020, 2015). The Expo2020 social media marketing framework for Australia is formulated to reach the exposition’s marketing objectives toward the identified segments. The Expo2020 overall social marketing objectives are to inform people globally about the exposition and attract 25 million visitors, 30 percent of which are from the UAE and 70 percent from overseas (The Official Website of Expo2020, 2015).
In the marketing framework for Australia, the following objective is set: to attract 1,030,000 people to attend the exhibition at least once during the six months when it is held.
Expo2020 SMM: Segment-Wise Objectives
Preliminary segment-wise objectives have been set as follows:
· to attract 50,000 visitors from within the Millenian Youth segment;
· to draw 50,000 visitors from within the Innovators segment; and
· to engage 30,000 visitors from within the Entrepreneurs segment.
The Millenian Youth segment will be targeted with the promotional theme of “Youth Connect” that links to the exhibition’s common theme for youth (The Official Website of Expo2020, 2015). The sub-themes of “Youth Connect” are “Let’s Empower,” “Let’s Talk,” “Let’s Explore,” and “Let’s Network,” with each sub-theme inviting the attendees to pursue a different set of activities before, during, and after the Expo2020. The Innovators segment is approached with the novel concept “Attend Expo2020 with a Celebrity” that consists in allowing the attendees to win a chance to have dinner with an Australian celebrity at the site of the exhibition in Dubai. This theme is expected to appeal to the largest number of potential participants of this group. The promotional theme for the Entrepreneurs segment is “Sustainable Partnerships,” which is based on the key theme of the Expo2020 and an implied opportunity to resolve the segment’s problem of filling the gaps in the partnerships for establishing global business links while addressing the sustainability endeavor.
SMM Framework: Millenian Youth Promotional Theme: “Youth Connect”
Platform-wise Objectives: The SMM objective for the Facebook marketing campaign is to attract 150,000 young people within the segment to register for and attend the Expo2020. In order to draw the desired number of attendees, the SMM campaign needs to reach one million young Australians.
Content Strategy: Within the “Youth Connect” promotional theme, the following content strategy will be implemented. A Facebook page will be created in English by the Expo2020 organizers, titled “Youth Connect-Expo2020,” targeting the English-speaking youth globally. The Expo2020 constituencies in Australia will launch a Facebook open group, which the interested youth in Australia can join. As part of the Facebook group page, an online event invitation will be created, where a competition is to be launched (“How to create a social media marketing plan,” 2015) to win a free return ticket to Dubai to attend the Expo2020. In this way, the target segment can be reached and their participation can be facilitated. The winner of the ticket will be chosen randomly, and the competition is likely to encourage sharing. The Facebook group will have a link to the official Expo2020 Youth Connect website where the attendees can register for the event (“Youth Connect”, 2015). The type of content posted on the Facbook page will include links to the official Youth Connect website, images of the Expo2015 and Expo2020 preparations, quotes by Expo2020 youth ambassadors, and updates. The majority of posted content will be photos as they result in about 50 percent more likes and 100 percent more comments as compared to text (“Social media marketing plan”, 2015).
Scheduling Content: Content will be posted 5 times per week by the Facebook page moderator, at around 1 pm to 4 pm Australian time (“Social media marketing plan”, 2015).
Interactivity: Facebook community will be encouraged with the discussions and announcement of the competition’s winner. Person-to-person interactivity will be even more increased with the use of instant messenger between the Facebook groups’ members who become online friends.
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SMM Framework: Innovators Promotional theme: “Attend Expo2020 with a Celebrity”
Part A. Facebook
Platform-wise Objectives: The SMM objective for this platform is to attract 25,000 people to attend the Expo2020. In order to achieve this goal, the Expo2020 needs to be promoted to 3 million people, including the segment’s people.
Content Strategy: In order to achieve the segment objective, a Facebook event will be launched by an appointed ambassador for the exhibition. On the Facebook event, a competition will be announced to win a dinner with Nicole Kidman, an Austalian movie start who is known for her environmental leadership and support for the Global Green Plan cause. On the event’s wall, the following content will be posted: links to the official Expo2020 website, images of the Expo2020 preparations, quotes by the Expo2020 ambassadors, including Nicole Kidman (who will be invited in advance), and updates on the exhibition.
Scheduling: Content will be posted on the Facebook event’s wall 7 times per week by a moderator based in Australia at around 12 am to 4 pm Australian time (“Social media marketing plan,” 2015).
Interactivity: While person-to-person interactivity will be largely limited to the members of the same organizations and businesses that plan to attend the Expo2020, new levels of interactivity can be reached with the discussions about the competition to meet a celebrity at the site of the event. The online conversations should mount to reaching the target 3 million people in this segment, with 25,000 persons registering for the event from the Facebook event page.
Part B. Twitter
Platform-wise Objectives: The SMM objective for this platform is to attract 25,000 people to attend the Expo2020. In order to achieve this goal, the Expo2020 needs to be promoted to 2 million people on Twitter, including the representatives from the segment.
Content Strategy: Before initiating and posting content on Twitter, a hashtag must be adopted, such as #Expo2020australia (‘Using social media to get trade show visitors,” 2014). In SMM, hashtags are compared to a telephone button as they expand the audience by quickly reaching the people who may be interested in this theme (“Social media marketing plan,” 2015). This segment is interested in “tweets” and “retweets” on the event’s opportunities, for example, messages by the sustainability industry influencers, news about the innovative technologies that will be showcased at the event and educational workshop (‘Using social media to get trade show visitors,” 2014). In addition, they will like following the information on travel to the UAE, and posting updates on things to do in Dubai will strengthen their interest to attend the Expo. Therefore, the majority of tweets will be on the opportunities offered by the exhibition and on travel to Dubai. A small percentage of tweets will remind the Twitter community about the contest, announce the winner, and post the quotes by celebrities.
Scheduling: 5 posts per day will be posted on Twitter throughout the day, at the daytime hours in Australia.
Interactivity: Once the community on Twitter is created, the platform moderator will start leading discussions about the event, the contest allowing to meet Nicole Kidman at the event, and the event’s updates (‘Using social media to get trade show visitors,” 2014).
SMM Framework: Entrepreneurs Promotional theme: “Sustainable Partnerships”
Platform-wise Objectives: The SMM objective for the LinkedIn platform is to attract 30,000 people to attend the Expo2020. In order to achieve this goal, the Expo2020 needs to be promoted to 500,000 people who have a LinkedIn profile.
Content Strategy: A LinkedIn page will be created and titled “Australian-Middle Eastern Partnerships” (unless there is already a LinkedIn page with a similar theme, to which the information on the Expo2020 can be added). The posts on the LinkedIn platform will bear an informational and business character and will largely be based on the opinions of the platform moderator (‘Using social media to get trade show visitors,” 2014). In addition to creating awareness about the Expo2020 among the platform participants, the posted content needs to showcase relevant products and investment information to generate leads within the segment. The language of the content and the key words will also be tailored to the entrepreneurs as a segment.
Scheduling: 1 post per day will be added to the LinkedIn group page at 5 pm or 6 pm Australian time (“Social media marketing plan,” 2015).
Interactivity: In order to ensure interactivity, the LinkedIn platform moderator will personally contact people who are potentially interested in the Expo2020, providing simply the context when seeking connections. This will add several thousand new contacts from Australia and the Middle Eastern countries. The value of the content on LinkedIn is derived from individual contributors, and authoritative industry leaders are likely to generate the largest number of online discussions. The group participants may recommend the event to one another and their own contacts, create private LinkedIn events to invite more people to attend, and share LinkedIn content on other social media platforms, so no additional steps need to be taken to insure interactivity.
The SMM plan will be implemented in stages, by continually adjusting and improving the plan. During the first stage of the SMM plan, each social media platform’s objective will be formulated; images will be prepared for posting; and proper language will be identified, including voice and tone (“How to create a social media marketing plan,” 2015). At the second stage, the SMM plan will be written; content will be created, and an editorial posting calendar will be adopted. The editorial calendar will include the information on the frequency of posts on each platform, the timing of posts, and the timeline surrounding social media campaigns. At the next stage, the posting of content will take place with no automation of content since it varies across platforms.
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The following evaluation metrics will be used to continuously assess the ROI of online communications (“How to create a social media marketing plan,” 2015): the reach (measured as the number of likes or contacts); the number of leads generated on the social media platforms (measured by the number of visitors to the landing pages with the help of Google Analytics); and the number of registered attendees (measured with Google Analytics).
As part of evaluation, the outcomes of SMM campaigns will be analyzed for the purpose of modifying the plan if the objectives are not met with the current strategy. Social media platforms will be monitored daily, making notes of new likes, contacts, shares, comments, and conversations. In order to promote the effective collection of statistics on the attendees who registered from the social media pages, landing pages will be added to all the social media platforms that are part of the SMM plan.
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