Social Media Use in New Zealand
With more than 83%, New Zealand has the highest Internet usage density in the whole of Oceania. Therefore it is not surprising that the concept of Social Media is top of agenda for many Kiwi businesses.
New Zealand has the highest Internet usage density in the whole of Oceania with more than 3.5 million active Internet users. According to Forrester Research, 75% of those Internet users are on Social Media.
Social Media is one of the largest components of online marketing. New Zealand businesses are not exempt to this bucking trend and there are many examples of New Zealand companies/brands successfully exploiting social media and benefiting as a result.
The Importance of Social Media
Social Media is now one of the largest forms of marketing. For businesses, social media represents both opportunity and risk.
- Social media provides brands with an intimate platform to connect with customers and shape their perceptions, whether through targeted promotions, responsive customer service or creating communities of interest.
- On the other hand, social media can be a PR nightmare with organisations' successes and failures now on show like never before.
- Social Media has high importance for businesses as it shifts the power to the customer, who can smear a brand with a single post/tweet/photo.
Social Media Use in New Zealand
New Zealand companies are not exempt from the social media trend with 1.8 million New Zealanders interacting via social media sites according to Neilson. Companies such as Countdown Supermarkets, New Zealand 100% Pure and Whittaker's Chocolate are taking advantage of the trend and are gathering customers in the process.
Countdown Supermarkets have over 150,000 likes on Facebook. Daily posts include recipes, discounts and rewards. Another contributor to their continual success is risk mitigation. With the high volume of customers that walk through their doors on a daily basis there is bound to be times when a customer walks out of the store unhappy. Whether it's no Marmite on the shelves or purchasing an expired item, and some consumers feel the need to express and vent their feelings through Facebook. However Countdown responds efficiently and effectively to all negative feedback. Producing fresh creative content and risk mitigation means Countdown is able to build likes and customers.
100% Pure New Zealand is the second largest New Zealand page on Facebook behind the All Blacks. But Facebook is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their social media presence. Daily tweets, a flikr page which regularly updates photos of New Zealand picturesque scenery and a YouTube channel which is innovative (middle earth NZ) and uses tourists to relay the message of New Zealand and 100% pure NZ. Tying together to send a consistent brand image across a number of social media platforms.
Whittaker's Chocolate according to Stuff gained 154,000 fans on Facebook and 9000 followers on twitter recently due to a strong push in social media. The key reason to this rise is their ability to listen and communicate with their customers. Customers have been able to suggest new flavours on their Facebook page. Peanut Butter and Hokey Pokey have been added to their product list as a result and are flying off the shelves. Loyal online fans are also first to hear the news when a new product is about to launch and samples are also sent out to a select lucky few, this builds excitement before the product even hits the shops. Whittaker's recently published a cook book which was thought upon due to fans continuously sharing their favourite chocolate recipes on their page. This not only resulted in a new product but generates more interest in chocolate and therefore its products!
Social Media is here and here to stay
Social media is driving tremendous change in the way business and customers are interacting. Providing new opportunities for businesses to influence and communicate with their customers. Consequently businesses that ignore social media do so at their peril.