In today's digital world, the way companies promote their products and services has changed dramatically. The advent of social media has led to a revolution in marketing. Social media marketing allows companies to engage with their target audience in a personal and efficient way by interacting directly with them and sharing valuable content. This direct communication opens up new opportunities for companies to strengthen their brand, build customer relationships and increase sales.
Why use social media marketing
Unlike traditional marketing methods, where companies send their message to a wide audience and hope to reach the desired target group, social media marketing allows for a targeted approach. Companies can precisely define their target audience and address them through personalized content and advertising. In addition, social media marketing offers the opportunity to build an active community and receive real-time customer feedback. This creates a closer relationship between companies and customers and promotes trust and loyalty.
Different social media channels
There are a variety of social media that companies can use for their marketing. The best-known platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and YouTube. Each channel has its own strengths and weaknesses. It is important to understand and utilize the specific advantages and disadvantages of each platform.
Facebook is a social network that was founded in 2004 and on which texts, images or videos can be posted and shared. Since then, the company already has around 2.9 billion members and is therefore considered a pioneer in social media. In 2022, the social media giant generated revenues of $116.6 million.
Based on the user figures, it is hardly surprising that Facebook has also become a sought-after social media marketing platform in the meantime, on which numerous companies run their advertising. This is precisely because the company offers a wide range of marketing and advertising options. The budget required for this ranges from a few to several thousand Swiss francs.
Today, the platform appeals not only to young audiences, but also to older people. Due to the hype of Snapchat, WhatsApp and Instagram, the platform now even plays a somewhat subordinate role again among young people. But politicians and artists continue to use social media networks like Facebook to promote themselves to their voters and fans.
Instagram is a mixture of microblog and audiovisual platform and was founded in 2010. Since 2012, Instagram has belonged to Facebook and is therefore structured similarly to Facebook. The online platform is used for sharing photos and videos. In addition to the all-familiar Stories, in which users post pictures and videos in portrait format that can be viewed for 24h, since August 2020 there are so-called Reels, with which it is possible to upload videos that can be up to 60 seconds long.
The network has over one billion active users. Meanwhile, users can also convert their Instagram profile into a business account. This gives users access to current statistics and allows them to place ads directly. Instagram is the channel for influencer marketing and therefore indispensable in digital marketing. Mainly, Instagram is an image-based app in which users know how to present their lifestyle to their followers aesthetically.
TikTok is one of the leading platforms in the social media world. The Chinese video platform, is known for its lip syncing and short video clips. This is where trends are born. The app was founded in 2016 and two years later merged with musical.ly, which is also strongly known. The video sharing platform is not only used by younger target groups but is also targeted primarily by companies and online marketers. In 2022, TikTok will already reach one billion active users.
The video platform YouTube was founded in the USA in 2005 and has been a subsidiary of Google since 2006. On YouTube, videos can be uploaded and also viewed. Users can be invited to comment on the video, share it or give it a ˶Like˝. YouTube channels are individual areas with their own videos, playlists and information. Particularly successful YouTube channel operators also call themselves YouTubers and often have their own community.
Through constant improvements and new possibilities, YouTube has become an interesting social media platform for advertisers. YouTube is very well suited, for example, to display advertising banners or ads on popular videos. Since March 2021, the video platform has offered another feature that has already proven itself on Instagram and Snapchat: The Story function, in which videos can be viewed in portrait format for 24 hours.
The short message platform Twitter has been around since 2006 and has rapidly gained in importance. Politicians, companies and private individuals in particular use Twitter to quickly and concisely compose messages known as tweets. According to statistics, the majority of Twitter users are male, over 32 years of age and in a corporate management position.
LinkedIn is a social media platform that is primarily aimed at professionals and young professionals. There, you can present your resume virtually and make it accessible to a broad public. The audience consists primarily of companies that are looking for employees. Photos, videos, surveys and articles can be published on LinkedIn. Anecdotes from the working world or discussions on various topics are often published. But employees can also present themselves on this platform. Company pages have the option of setting up events and making them visible on their page and sharing them with followers.
The instant messaging service Snapchat is a free online service that can be used on smartphones and tablets. The online service was founded in 2011. Photos and videos can be uploaded on Snapchat, but these are only temporarily visible and are deleted again after some time. Snapchat is therefore more like a temporarily visible diary with a high interaction rate between users.
The most important success factors of social media marketing
To realize the full potential of social media marketing, there are a few key factors to consider:
- Target group analysis: Companies should know and understand their target group precisely. By analyzing demographic characteristics, interests, and behaviors, they can target their content and advertising messages to their potential customers.
- Consistency and quality: It is important to publish high-quality content on a regular basis to maintain the interest of the target audience. Creative and engaging posts, images, and videos can increase awareness and drive engagement.
- Measurement and analysis: companies should continuously monitor and analyze the performance of their social media activities. By understanding metrics such as reach, engagement, conversion rates and ROI, they can optimize their strategies and achieve better results.
- Adapt to trends and changes: The social media landscape is dynamic and constantly changing. Companies need to be flexible and adapt to new trends, platforms, and features to stay relevant and effective.
Possibilities for the marketing concept
Tools and instruments for social media marketing
To use social media effectively, there are a number of tools and instruments that companies can use. Social media management platforms such as Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social allow companies to schedule their social media activities, post content, and track interaction. With these tools, companies can schedule their posts, prepare content and analyze the results to continuously improve their strategies. In addition, most social media outlets offer their own analytics tools that allow businesses to measure the performance of their posts, ads, and campaigns and track key metrics such as reach, engagement, and conversions. These tools help businesses optimize their social media strategies and achieve their marketing goals more effectively.
Strategies for social media marketing
A successful social media marketing strategy requires clear planning and direction. Companies should first define their goals, whether it is to increase brand awareness, win customers, or increase sales. Then, they should analyze their target audience to better understand their needs, preferences and behaviors. Based on these insights, companies can develop content that is relevant and appealing to their target audience. In doing so, they should use the different formats, such as text posts, images, videos or live streams, to build a varied and engaging presence. In addition, companies can rely on influencer marketing by involving relevant influencers to increase their reach and spread their messages.
Dealing with shitstorms
In the world of social media, negative comments or shitstorms can also develop. A shitstorm occurs when companies are confronted with a large onslaught of negative comments, criticism or outrage. Dealing with such situations requires tact and effective crisis communication. Companies should respond to negative comments quickly and professionally by addressing customers' concerns and offering solutions. It is important to remain calm and communicate transparently to restore trust and limit the damage. In addition, companies can use social listening tools to identify negative developments early on and take proactive action.
How does social media marketing work for an online store?
The e-commerce sector has seen tremendous growth in recent years. Social media marketing plays a crucial role in maximizing success for digital commerce businesses. Here are some reasons why social media marketing can be beneficial for e-commerce businesses:
- Increasing brand awareness: Social media offers an effective platform for increasing the visibility and awareness of an e-commerce brand. Through targeted marketing campaigns aimed specifically at the target group, companies can strengthen their brand presence and attract the attention of potential customers. With creative content, engaging images and videos, and relevant information, companies can convey their brand message and capture the interest of users.
- Attracting customers and increasing traffic: Social media enables e-commerce companies to address a broad target group and drive qualified traffic to their websites or online stores. Through targeted advertising campaigns, companies can present their products or services directly to the right users and thus increase the likelihood of a purchase decision. In addition, companies can share visually appealing content on social media platforms such as Instagram to capture the interest of potential customers and drive them to their website or online store.
- Customer engagement and relationship building: Social media offers e-commerce businesses the opportunity to build a personal relationship with their customers and foster long-term customer loyalty. By interacting regularly, answering questions, sharing useful information, and engaging customers in discussions, companies can gain trust and encourage their clientele to purchase from them repeatedly. Social media also allows companies to get customer feedback and improve their products or services based on the needs and wants of their customers.
- Influencer marketing: another effective strategy in social media marketing for e-commerce companies is influencer marketing. Influencers are individuals with a large number of followers and a strong social media presence. By working with relevant influencers, e-commerce companies can increase their reach, engage their target audience, and boost their brand's credibility. Influencers can share their experiences with the products, give reviews or even share special discount codes or special offers with their followers to boost sales.
Social media marketing offers e-commerce businesses a variety of ways to strengthen their presence, increase sales, and build strong customer loyalty. A well-thought-out social media marketing strategy can help meet the goals and challenges of an e-commerce business. This includes choosing the right social media platforms, creating engaging content, regularly sharing updates and offers, engaging customers in discussions, and evaluating analytics data to measure and adjust the success of marketing campaigns.
Social media marketing has revolutionized the way companies market their products and services. Through direct contact with the target group, targeted addressing and the opportunity for interaction, social media marketing also opens up new possibilities for companies in the e-commerce sector. By using social media effectively, companies can increase brand awareness, boost sales, strengthen customer loyalty and optimize their marketing strategies. It is important to understand the different channels, tools and strategies and to take the right measures to achieve long-term success.