Social Media Marketing

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a part of online marketing and includes the strategic planning and operational use of social media to achieve marketing goals. A particular core aspect of SMM is the interaction of users with advertising content and forms of advertising. So-called viral marketing, i.e. the spreading of a brand's marketing messages through sharing between users in their personal social groups, is often closely linked to this. Social media include well-known social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, as well as less well-known, small niche communities.

Social networks for B2B companies

Special features of social media marketing

Social Listening/Monitoring

At the beginning of every successful social media strategy is the systematic analysis of the respective target group. A central component of this social monitoring is listening on the net - the so-called social listening. This includes tracking all relevant social media platforms and collecting and evaluating relevant comments or mentions in blogs, forums, and news sites on the Internet.

Target group advertising "Just in Time"

With comprehensive knowledge of user behavior and user interactions, it is theoretically possible to actively influence trends in social media during their emergence with Social Media Management. For this purpose, a company observes its target group in social media and analyses their wishes, needs, and moods (social monitoring). From this, the company then develops (almost) in real-time the appropriate content and services for the target group. In order to master the associated rapid marketing processes in the company, the use of agile methods from product management in marketing (Agile Marketing) is extremely advantageous here.

Social Proof

The more people are influenced in their purchase decision by influencer effects, the higher the visible social proof. This applies not only to purchase decisions, but of course especially in social media for the influence on likes, shares, or recommendations. This social influence can shape opinions, attitudes, and purchase decisions. Influencers need and have enormous social proof.

How high is the benefit of Social Media for companies?

Social networks serve to establish a social, i.e. personal relationship with customers. In social networks, you can emotionalize messages very strongly, even if your company otherwise sells little emotion. For example, use pictures to present your team, your production, or your company. People are curious by nature and would like to take a look behind the scenes.

Social Proof in Social Media Marketing

Use this concept especially for the social media marketing of your brand or personality brand. Start with an analysis of the areas of interest of your ideal customers or buyer personas. You don't want to be an influencer for everyone, but only for the people who are interested in your topic and who are themselves as influential and resonant as possible in this topic area. You expand your own social proof by winning over people with the highest possible social proof.

In social media, social proof is an important design principle of thought leadership marketing. You know it from yourself: which blog posts, tweets, Facebook entries, or Xing members are you particularly aware of? Exactly those with high follower numbers, many comments, highest rankings, or most shares. Social validity is the unspoken currency of today's Attention Economy and should therefore not be neglected for Thought Leadership.

In principle, it is quite simple to use social proof in thought leadership marketing. You have to give your customers or readers the opportunity to express their opinion, but it can also be seen by others. The more people do this, the more social acceptance of your content, and thus your influencer position increases. The concept of social proofing works offline as well as offline and can be applied to traditional marketing as well to help the brand across channels.

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Here are some examples of how you can use your content to promote new social interactions:

Social proofing factors

Comments

If your content is intensively commented and discussed by many people, more people will quickly become aware of it - just like with social shares. So encourage discussion by promoting your content specifically. However, you should always follow the discussions of your content and, if necessary, intervene to ensure quality. The quantity of comments often plays a greater role in the perception (unfortunately) than the quality of the discussion. An article with 100 comments is usually read more often than an article with no comments.

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Social Shares

Your Facebook Likes and Twitter followers speak a clear language about you. Who reads, comments, and shares your content? How large is the social reach of these people? And how action-packed is the content you produce and distribute to people? The number of your followers likes etc. makes it clear to other people whether their content should be read. The quantity of your followers and likes is taken as an indication of the quality of your content. This is neither good nor bad - in the age of social attention, this is just the way it is.

Scoring values

People with a high Klout score will be happy with the incentives of different brands (e.g. free nights in hotels etc.) to report about it in your social network. This is also a phenomenon of the attention economy in which we live. And it is also already firmly established in Germany. Influencers with high reach on YouTube or Instagram are especially courted by brands and marketers and can often already make a living from it as a kind of "celebrity" - or even wealthy, by actively using it.

Goals of Social Media Marketing

In simple terms, the goal is to generate a flawless conversion path. Conversion funnels are used to guide Internet users to the desired action, direct purchases, and contact. Another term that is frequently used in this context is the customer journey, i.e. the path from a prospective customer to the customer, from the first contact with a product to the purchase (inbound methodology). Many companies approach their social media marketing somewhat aimlessly and post without any strategy - just to entertain their fans and subscribers. For me, this is not social media marketing. Because it lives from setting goals that you want to achieve with appropriate marketing measures and ultimately measure your success. At this point, it is also important to note that the widespread goal of simply increasing the number of followers is not a strategic goal. Instead, what goals can be pursued with social media marketing?

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Attention

This goal means that you reach people with your content who did not know you before. Who are not yet your fans, followers, or subscribers? Instead, these people stumble over your content because they have searched for something on YouTube and you have provided a video for this keyword. Another possibility would be that these users have climbed up on Twitter to a trending topic or that they get content from you on Facebook even though they are not your fans or friends.

 

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Employer branding and image building

Social media are particularly suitable for reaching new applicants, as they offer an opportunity to provide an authentic insight into the corporate culture. But also independent of new applicants, social media help to communicate your image. Let your employees take place on your social channels because that way you can show potential customers and applicants who you are.

 

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Care of existing customers and customer loyalty

Many people use social media to get in touch with companies. For example, if your customers were unhappy with your product or they have a question about it, they may contact you via Facebook or Instagram. Providing excellent customer service should be an important goal of your social media marketing because there is a big return on investment in it. Give your customers the feeling that you are close and accessible and that you are not leaving them alone. Also, try to keep them loyal after purchase so that you can sell them more products in the future.

 

The core of Social Media Marketing