Social media has been part of the company’s marketing mix for a number of years. Depending on the business model and target group, every company should be active on suitable social networks and interact with potential customers.
Here you can find out which social media you should use for your company and which strategy you use to become visible there. So let’s begin!
What is social media?
The term ‘social media’ came up in connection with the term Web 2.0: instead of only allowing communication to take place in one direction, users can create and share content themselves on social media platforms. One also speaks of user-generated content.
Platforms such as Facebook , Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing, Youtube and Co. made social media a mass phenomenon and opened up new communication channels for companies beyond traditional PR. Users network with each other or with media and companies, so that many-to-many communication arises, which on the one hand harbors many opportunities but also some risks for companies.
In the following, we would like to give you a brief overview of the various possibilities of social media marketing.
Turn users into real fans with social media marketing
3.81 billion people use social media worldwide, according to platform reports on the current number of active users. Most of these people consider it sensible and useful to receive recommendations and tips from their own environment. There are groups and forums on the platforms for almost every topic. Depending on their size, some of these are considered institutions for forming opinions on services and products.
Therefore, companies should use social networks to interact with so-called users. Only with active social media marketing do you have the opportunity to observe how your own offer is rated by consumers and work continuously on a positive reputation – online public relations.
In addition to the advertising opportunities, it is also possible to further develop your own offer through a constructive feedback culture on the Internet. This is an efficient and cost-effective way of increasing the awareness of the start-up and of the offers, especially for start-ups. This only works if a credible and trustworthy channel is created in social media that doesn’t just communicate in one direction – or even worse – just plays advertising.
Social media marketing: areas of application
Companies can use social media to influence the public perception of the company. Social media marketing can be used for customer service and market research. This form of marketing is also suitable for the areas of Personnel / HR and Research & Development. In addition, it can even be used for internal company communication .
The instruments already discussed include the social networks and video platforms. The areas of application also include company blogs, micro-blog platforms (Twitter), location-based services (Foursquare) and so-called wikis (web blogs without access restrictions).
Web blogs, online magazines, webinars, video tutorials and podcasts increase the interaction between the company and the potential customers. The activities in social media marketing also improve placement in the popular search engines.
What to look out for in social media marketing
- Creating a strategy: what do you want to achieve on social media?
- Define SMART goals and target group: who do you want to reach?
- Choosing platforms consciously: where does your target group prefer to be?
- Create content with added value: avoid advertising
- Don’t be bored: playful elements such as competitions bring more feedback
- Plan a budget: even small budgets can help to significantly increase the reach and shares of your posts
- Keep an eye on the competition: Learn from your competition!
- Evaluate results: use the network analysis tools
- Be prepared for any crises or criticism : when you should definitely react
- Establish internal responsibilities: don’t leave your fans alone
- Establish guidelines for consistent communication: the company should speak with one voice
In social media marketing, quality should always come before quantity. This is the only way to ensure that the feedback from your fan community is also constructive. Because positive reviews from the fan community are known to be the best advertising, while criticism – whether justified or unjustified – can quickly get around and cause a real crisis.
Your communication in social media must therefore be characterized by a high degree of willingness to dialogue on your part. Always respond in a friendly and open manner to feedback, especially negative comments. Admit mistakes and be factual about unfair allegations. Also, refrain from buying “fake fans” or “fake comments” because the old saying applies here: “Honesty lasts the longest”. Internet users quickly notice when something is fake and purchased fans have no value; on the contrary, they can damage your reputation.
Analysis and success measurement in social media marketing
There is a valid risk for companies to lose control on the Internet and post bypassing their target group. The negative effect is that your posts are not displayed in the feed and hardly receive any organic visibility. It is not easy to get visible in the news feed of the target groups. It is therefore important to constantly monitor the performance of posts and to derive strategies. The providers themselves offer the necessary tools for this. Contributions that are particularly well-received should be promoted to the target group with a little budget.
So there you have it!
Putting all these points together will ensure that you carry out effective social media marketing. When effectively carried out, your customers can easily become your fans.