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How to use social media for business marketing

How to use social media for business marketing

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What is the best social media strategy for business? We show you how to use social media for business marketing to consumers and for B2B.

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How to find the right social media strategy for your company

Social media is gaining more and more influence on the marketing measures of companies. Nowadays, social networks are a must, as this way the target group can be reached much more directly.

In contrast to traditional communication measures, social media marketing is often much cheaper and offers the opportunity to address target groups in a much more targeted manner. In addition , it offers the opportunity to address target groups who only use traditional measures can be reached very poorly. Younger generations in particular like to communicate via social media.

However, when establishing social media measures, you can fall into many traps, you have probably heard of the infamous shit storm! To avoid these mistakes , you shouldn’t just post straight away, but rather work out a social media strategy that is suitable for the company . In this collection of articles, we will accompany you through the process from the beginning  and show you how to use social media for business marketing.

How to use social media for business marketing – effectively!

And the boss said: “We are now doing social media!” It will be like this or something similar in many companies that have not yet got involved in social media. “Everyone is out there, even our competitors – so we have to get involved too.” The beginning has been made – the idea is there.

But you shouldn’t act too hastily. There are important questions you need to ask when you want to know how to use social media for business marketing properly. First, analyze your target audience. Which platforms are relevant for you? Where are your potential customers moving ? Have a look at the competitor to see how he designs the social media presence? And above all: do you have the necessary resources in the company? Your social media presence is part of your image – always keep that in mind. For example, addressing your target group plays a crucial role. The structure is there, but the posts are missing.

What content do you want to provide?

Internal issues should be well coordinated with management. Provide added value! Content, product descriptions, tutorials. Do you have a marketing department? This could design interesting billboards / slogans , matched and only used on social media. All of this helps your customers engage with the product or service.

Don’t have your own content? Then provide relevant information from e.g. blogs / magazines in your industry. But be careful! You may not simply copy all texts and images from external sites to your account. But when you look at how to use social media for business marketing, let’s start at the beginning with some legal aspects that have to be considered:

Name of your account: Your account must have a direct connection to your company and must not allow any association with other companies.

Images used: Have you published images that you have bought ? Note the difference between editorial articles, print brochures and social media publications. Did you take photos yourself? Remember that people who do not act as extras within the picture (e.g. pedestrian zone, audience, etc.) must be asked for permission to publish the photo – at best in writing, including permission for social media purposes.

Exclusion of liability: Who is liable if the content of your postings is incorrect? Provide source information for third-party content. Are employees allowed to do whatever they want in relation to your company online ? In principle, of course, within your private account. Here you can not tell your employees how they should behave in their private lives. However, when it comes to your company website: Provide employees with a social media guidelines. If you are traveling on behalf of the company , you must adhere to certain agreements (e.g. communication guidelines).

Integration of the social media icons on your homepage: Do you have links within your website on Facebook & Co.? If a customer visits your homepage, Facebook, for example, saves this data based on the plug-in (icons). The double opt-in process is a great way to curb data enrichment from social media. Customers only clearly consent to data storage on Facebook, Twitter & Co if you click twice on the respective button (Facebook, Twitter …).
Click once = button will first be activated
Click twice = you / or your customers can now share the desired content on this page.

Checklist for a social media strategy

Planning a social media presence requires a well thought-out concept. There are a few stumbling blocks that you will have to clear aside along the way . We have briefly summarized the most important tips in a checklist so that your social media strategy will be a success. What do you have to consider?

Target group analysis

Where is your target group traveling? Which platforms are relevant?
Your own topic analysis What would you like to report? In different subject areas? Do you need multiple accounts within a network?

Corporate Branding

Do you have multiple locations? Create a recognizability through a constant identity of all your web presence.

Create resources in the company

Do you want to transfer the responsibilities to one employee or should it be a joint effort of several employees?

Create framework conditions

Give your employees a social media guideline

• Who communicates (define responsibilities )
• How is communicated (addressing the target group)
• What is communicated (selection of topics & internal news)
• How should criticism be dealt with?

Consider legal aspects

These include, among other things, imprint obligations, image rights, content rights, liability issues.

Integration of your channels on the homepage

Point out your presence on the social web on your homepage and in publications.

Content Strategy

Develop a plan for what content you want to publish. Create variety, for example through:
• An advertising slogan
• Pictures / videos of your products
• Product descriptions
• Testimonials
• Internal news, eg welcoming new employees, anniversaries, celebrations, events, annual figures, participation in initiatives
• Industry news from sources known to you.

Define KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

Create success figures that you will use to measure your campaigns. Your KPIs can be:
• Lead generation
• Reach
• Follower numbers
• Interactions
• Create impressions / engagements accounts

Naming the social media channel

There should be a direct connection to your company. Note that the company profile is linked to Facebook required by a person’s account. It makes sense here to set up the administrative part of the site via the management and to grant the employees appropriate rights . With other platforms, you can act independently of your private account and set up separate pages.

Trying it out

Not every post fits right away and hits the nerve of the target group. When your target audience is online also varies . Is it on the way to work? During the lunch break, on the way home or during working hours?

A / B tests help

Put different postings live. Vary the time. Write down the results based on your defined parameters (KPIs) and adjust the optimal time for your social media activities.

Posting frequency

Be careful not to bombard your target group . Feel your way. One daily post on Facebook, three daily postings on Twitter. Draw your experience from this and, if necessary, adjust the postings in terms of time and frequency.

Watch your competition 

See what your competition is up to. Would you address their social media presence as a customer ? Put yourself in your shoes Customers. What could be done better? – And do better!

Observe trends

Pay attention to trends that are circulating on the internet. Watch the market. There are many highlights that show a trend in certain networks on a daily basis . Be creative and innovative, act quickly but thoughtfully.

How to use social media for B2B marketing

Can today’s corporate communication be without social media ? I can answer this question very clearly with the words “No, social media is compulsory!” Or, even better, support it with the statement: “Digital is normal!”. Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp are normal in today’s communication and are expected by our users and target groups . Therefore, there is no distinction at this point in which industry we are currently operating. The question of “how” is of much greater importance at this point – “How do I use social media correctly for my industry?”

One thing should be clear to all of us, we are not in the B2B environment to sell products on social networks. However, what we sell or, better still, market and recommend are clicks on our website and reputation. And another user action takes place here. Maybe also an order process! That’s why we don’t use social media for the pleasure of it, but with a crystal-clear and defined strategy. It works for those who reach their target groups through these channels and maintain their reputation there. 

Typical use cases can therefore be the HR area, as well as the innovation and technology areas. But also the personal business accounts of employees, in which they position themselves as experts on certain topics. This is a very good way to give the company a face and to expand the expertise as an innovative company . 

More personal and individual through B2B social media

Social media is moving so quickly into our working life, today we can’t help but be part of the community. Especially if we want to continue to be considered innovative and leading in the industry . Social media makes us more productive, informs us and is a lively platform for communication. If you need the latest information , don’t wait for the newspaper that appears tomorrow, but grab your smartphone and check out Twitter. Social media is just part of our communication and thus also of our daily life. It allows direct communication with our customers. We can convey information to our target group in a much more personal and individual way and enter into a dialogue . This is not possible with the website or print media .

In order to use this great potential of the new media , we first have to lose our fears about the new type of communication. The youth of today – our leaders of tomorrow – grew up with these media. Hence: “Trust the young generation!” A social media manager who lives this topic should and should be established in every company and you should trust him. In the B2B sector in particular, it is still partly the old ways of thinking with which one cannot survive in the new media.

The conclusion of this little digression into the subject of social media in the B2B area should therefore be summed up very briefly : “Social media is a must!” So ​​do n’t be afraid to take action. 

Correct communication on Twitter, Facebook and Co.

Creating a social media account is usually very easy and only takes a few seconds. But then the difficult work only begins : What, when and how much should be posted? We give you valuable tips for your social media presence.

The right post and the right length

The content of your post must not only be interesting, it should also generate attention , deliver added value and , ideally, arouse emotions. These are pretty high expectations with only 140 characters available on Twitter, for example. And although Facebook, Google+ and Co. allow more characters, you shouldn’t overdo it with your text: Keep your postings limited to a maximum of three lines, otherwise your readers could lose their attention.

The correct use of the hashtag

The hashtag (#), has become an integral part of our everyday lives and, above all, of the social media sector. Although the hashtag originated on Twitter, it is also used in most other social media, but always in a different way:
• On Twitter, hashtags can increase interaction by up to 21 percent, but only if you use them in the right number of inserts: Two # per Post have established themselves here.
• It looks completely different with Instagram: The more hashtags are used here, the greater the reach.
• The hashtag is also popular on Facebook, but it is rather controversial.

Note that a hashtag from several words on Twitter must be composed or written together with an underscore (#Twitter_Post), otherwise only the first word will be recognized as a hashtag.

This is how you can achieve a perfect post:

Keep it short: Avoid long, nested sentences and unnecessary filler words. In the social media: the spice is in the brevity !
Stay simple: Just in social media there is a glut of information, therefore you SHOULD NOT make your posts unnecessarily complicated.
Rely on aesthetic images and videos: Posts with images generate an average of 53 percent more likes than posts without images. Plus, they stand out better from the crowd.
Use checklists and numbers: Readers love numbered lists because they promise a range of views.
Use short URLs: On the one hand, they take up less space and, on the other hand, they just look better. Use for this for example tools like bit.ly or tiny.url.
Ask questions or ask for action: With a like or retweet you can lure your followers from their reserve.
Organize competitions: This is how you increase engagement and can also generate new followers.
Don’t just rely on information: also report on bizarre and funny things from your everyday life. Here also “behind the scenes” are postings of the actual workday.
Think about the right time for the post: When is your target group online? Mornings before work, at lunch break and after 6 p.m. have proven their worth.

In summary

Analyze your target groups, define measurable goals, derive measures and develop campaigns to address your customers / users / users / target group and ultimately lead them to the website. There is no wrong, just a “maybe not the right platform for the topic”.

Analyze your company, your target group and your competition in advance. Draw the important conclusions for how to use social media for business marketing more effectively from this and develop a sound social media strategy that must, however, remain adaptable. Establish framework conditions, but be open to rapid changes in the social web.

Preparation is all, so you can see that there are many options for social media marketing, and not all of them are necessarily right for you when you develop a strategy for how to use social media for business marketing. Therefore, become familiar in advance with the issues and consider first what you want to achieve them and on which channels you manage it best. Then nothing stands in the way of your success in social media marketing.