Before going into the topic of social media marketing, first of all, what is social media? With social media, a term has emerged that describes a multitude of digital media. These have in common that users can interact communicatively via a specific platform on the Internet via messages, comments, reactions or other contributions as well as actively participate in the design of media content.
Social media is no longer a straw fire: Social networking is popular and being used more. Users search, ask, comment, photograph, film and share anything that matters to them, with their virtual friends or the world. This behavior is very useful for businesses, as users not only share private information but also share their favorite products or business activity with their friends.
The viral word of mouth helps the formation of opinions and can naturally also arouse the buying interest. A satisfied customer likes to recommend products.Of course, there can be negative criticism as well, but if you, as a company, can understand this criticism constructively and fix the flaw in the product, you have the chance to improve the quality of the article and then spread it quickly via social media and coverage.
The connected consumer uses all the sources of information available to him to find out if the product or service is what he wants. Social media companies now also have the opportunity to present themselves and also to expand their sales market or to improve their customer service. While mass media such as television, radio or daily newspapers are characterized by one-dimensional communication, social media offers a multi-dimensional exchange in real time. At the same time, the user is a broadcaster and recipient via the social media channels.
The social networks promote a global exchange, offer a diverse combination of text, image, and video. The technology also helps users to spread their messages quickly, as access to the social media tools is cost-effective.Even publishing via social media takes place immediately and without delay. Added to this are the user-friendliness (usability) and the topicality. Today Social media make it possible to make changes to publications almost without delay.
Social Media Marketing Definition
Social media marketing is a marketing term that describes strategies and tactics that companies or organizations use to leverage social media to achieve business goals. Frequently addressed stakeholder groups in social media marketing are potential customers, employees, bloggers, journalists or the public.
In addition to the use of social media, social media marketing also includes the management of a social media culture on a strategic level, the role of employees (for example by means of social media guidelines), decisions about the social media scope (eg the active or passive use) and the organizational anchoring in the company to implement the company goals.
For this reason, social media marketing in management research is understood as an interdisciplinary and cross-departmental concept.Social media marketing is thus defined as part of online marketing. However, social media marketing is more than just writing ad texts that generate high click rates or generate conversions.
By means of social marketing, the dialogue with the customers should be strengthened. The social media engagement, as well as the community spirit, are decisive here. Social media marketing offers the opportunity to receive honest and honest customer feedback without having to hire market research institutes.
Which social media channels are there?
There are a variety of social networks with different characteristics, functionalities, user numbers, goals as well as the possibility of native advertising.The most well-known and also very successful social networks are Facebook with its affiliations Instagram and Twitter.
Even the well-known search engine with Google+ or YouTube offers its users but also companies the chance to present themselves. Also known are the networks Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. The most successful business networks are LinkedIn.
Now you are spoiled for choice: For a successful social media marketing, it is indispensable to deal with the possibilities and target groups of the social networks. You should also know the channel-specific characteristics very well.
Facebook offers friends the chance to network digitally and communicate globally. The fan pages give clubs, NGOs, and companies the chance to present themselves there as well. But that’s not all: companies can use Facebook Advertising to place and place their advertising very precisely. Whatsapp and Snapchat are messenger services. These can now also be used for customer service and answer the users promptly questions, continue to help, but also send special offers.
Instagram and Pinterest are image networks. While the main focus on Instagram is on users themselves, Pinterest is a platform for inspiration. This means that users who are on Pinterest are usually considered willing to buy. About the influencer marketing is the possibility to put items on Instagram very good performance and of course also receive feedback from peers from the target group.
Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing
Using social media has become established over the last decade and has become an important cornerstone of online marketing for many companies. If you decide on a social media strategy in your company, you should think about the pros and cons.
Pros of Social Media
It’s possible that you can do more with a cheaper marketing budget than with traditional media like print or TV. You also have less wastage and can target your audience as accurately as possible in social networks.
Imagine a prime-time television show: During the commercial break, car brands, beauty products, detergents, food and travel providers are advertised. There is something for every target group. But can you measure who bought your product in the end?
On the social media channels, you have the option to target your audience as accurately as possible and you can target your ad formats depending on the country. You can use a social network to create campaigns that serve ads geographically.
The emphasis on social media is social, meaning you get fast, honest, and detailed feedback from your customers, and a closer relationship with your customers. You can respond promptly to customer inquiries and deliver solutions.
If you are a progressive and active company, you can also use the business networks to recruit new talent.
Cons of social media
Social media takes time and effort. Many companies are not willing to spend this. For some companies, it is a full-time job to take care of social media marketing. You have to hire new staff. In some cases, outsourcing social media marketing to an external agency that specializes in this can be a possibility, but of course more costly.
There are more hidden costs. It takes time to build relationships with customers. In the “offline world”, however, it takes just as much time to build customer relationships.
Social Media Marketing Strategy
If the decision has been made to use social media marketing, then it is very important to develop a social media strategy. There are various social media marketing strategies that can be linked to corporate goals.
- Increase brand awareness
- Boost brand loyalty
- Increase interaction with the community
- Using new communication channels to reach more reach and open up new target groups
- Use viral social web campaigns to increase brand engagement
- Demonstrate positive corporate reputation and prevent negative reputation
- Carry out market research via social media to obtain consumer insights
- Improve customer service, increase customer satisfaction
- E-commerce: sell the products via the social networks
- Product Policy: Use crowdsourcing to develop product ideas
- Fund crowdfunding projects with the community
The best way to define a social media strategy is to choose the POST method. POST stands for People, Objectives, Strategy and Technology. This means first analyzing the target group, deriving the goals from it, then defining the social media marketing strategy and finally choosing the technology for the monitoring.
Determine target groups
Start with the customers. It is best to find out where and to what extent are customers on the social web. Which social networks do you use? Do the users write blog posts, do they share pictures or do they prefer watching videos on the net? Where do users inform themselves about their products? What information do users want or need to decide to buy their product? Analyse everything give your 100% from your side to analyze your target audience.
You define your goals on the basis of the previous target group analysis. Depending on the socio-demographics of your target group, you can use different portals. Social media marketing not only means defining your target group by age and gender but also creating communication, interaction, and participation needs.
How do you define your goals via the social media strategy? Similar to classic marketing, qualitative communication goals (brand image), which can be measured by key figures (users, impressions, likes, reactions), and quantitative marketing goals can also be defined via social media.
Care should be taken to ensure that the goals are concrete, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. This seems familiar to you now? Exactly – so that you can implement your goals realistically, orient yourself to the SWOT analysis. The acronym stands for Strengths ( strengths ), Weaknesses ( weaknesses ), opportunities ( opportunities ) and threats ( threats ).
Define qualitative goals first. These can be:
- New product positioning
- Community involvement
- Improve online reputation
- Improve customer service
- Customer acquisition
A particularly important part of a promising social media strategy is social media monitoring. Monitoring means finding specific topics, actors or keywords on the web. Social media monitoring serves as a target group analysis as well as for market and stock analysis. We recommend using several tools in parallel for the monitoring.
In addition to the free tools, it is sometimes advisable, but a fee-based tool to draw. The advantages of these tools are usually the large variety of filters and functionalities as well as extensive statistics.
What social media brings to your business?
Social Network Marketing is not a one-way street, but an interactive tool. Social media marketing helps you to build up and strengthen intensive customer relationships and to be more transparent. You can also present yourself as a company and support your recruiting process. Through social media activities, you can gain a competitive advantage and receive direct customer feedback.
In summary, you have the opportunity to implement a variety of corporate goals with social media marketing:
- Increase brand awareness
- Improve customer loyalty and customer service
- Increase search engine ranking
- Social media communication (quick accessibility in the target group through social signals)
- E-commerce via the social networks operate
- Support recruiting and personnel management
What can we do for you?
We are happy to assist you in developing your social media marketing strategy or to create social media campaigns with you. Feel free to contact us, our expert’s team will be available anytime.