Consumers find social advertising useful

Use social media marketing (SMM) correctly: this is how customers become fans

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. have made social media a mass phenomenon and open 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 and the benefits for your marketing concept.

Turn users into real fans with social media marketing

In Germany around 40 million internet users actively use social networks. The majority 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 to be 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, there is also the further development of one's own offer through a constructive feedback culture on the Internet. For start-ups in particular, this is an efficient and cost-effective way of increasing or initiating awareness of the start-up and the offers. This only works if a credible and trustworthy channel is created in social media that does not only communicate in one direction - or worse - only displays 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 the placement in the common search engines.

What to look for in social media marketing

  1. Creating a strategy: what do you want to achieve on social media?
  2. Define goals (SMART) and target group: who do you want to reach?
  3. Choosing platforms consciously: where does your target group prefer to be?
  4. Create content with added value: avoid advertising
  5. Don't be bored: playful elements such as competitions bring more feedback
  6. Plan your budget: even small budgets can help to significantly increase the reach and shares of your posts
  7. Keep an eye on the competition: Learn from your competition!
  8. Evaluate results: use the network analysis tools
  9. Be prepared for any crises or criticism: when you should definitely react
  10. Establish internal responsibilities: don't leave your fans alone
  11. Establish uniform communication guidelines: 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 make the rounds at breakneck speed and cause a real crisis.

Your communication in social media must therefore be characterized by a high degree of willingness to engage in dialogue on your part. Always respond to feedback in a friendly and open manner, especially if you have negative comments. Admit mistakes and be factual about unfair allegations. And: refrain from buying "fake fans" or "fake comments". Because here in particular the old saying applies: "Honesty lasts the longest". Internet users quickly notice when something is fake and bought 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: 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 also important to permanently 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.

Success factor: emotion

If you only post factual information or flat advertising on social media, you will not be successful. Social media is mainly used on mobile devices and on the side. This means that the user's attention span is very small and emotions often trigger attention.

Social media posts should therefore not overwhelm the user, be very simple, short and the address should be as emotional as possible.

The following strategies rely on emotion and are therefore particularly successful on social media channels:

  • provocation
  • We-feeling
  • nostalgia
  • Do something good
  • narcissism
  • anxiety
  • Sadness
  • malicious joy
  • Gameification
  • astonish

Check whether your post covers one of these aspects and then analyze which type of posts are particularly well received on your channel.

Examples: The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) was able to build a large number of followers and increase their sympathy values ​​with deliberately provocative posts on Facebook and Instagram. Sixt has been advertising for many years with up-to-date comments on politics that address schadenfreude. And the success of the AfD in social media is largely based on the fact that fear is constantly being stoked (of the euro, of refugees, of change). Without arousing emotions, you will hardly get a like for posts today. In this respect, social media marketing differs massively from classic PR.


Excursus: influencer marketing

If you think of Thomas Gottschalk and HARIBO gummy bears, it becomes clear: Influencer marketing as part of social media marketing is actually not a reinvention. But in times in which social media channels have become indispensable, there are completely new opportunities to use "influencers" of your own target group for your advertising purposes - especially for founders who - like HARIBO - do not have a placement on a well-known Saturday evening - Can finance TV show. For founders, influencer marketing can not only save costs, but also time. Because the content is created by the influencer (e.g. in comparison to content marketing). In addition, the wastage in influencer marketing is extremely low. Find out everything about influencer marketing here and be inspired by examples.

Author: Für-Grü editors

As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Grü for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Grü, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.