Successful marketing in times of social media

Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, XING – and whatever they’re called – do we need it all? Is not there a new pig running through the village every week, is there a new buzzword? Social media, content marketing, performance management – do we marketers, we companies have to deal with these things?

“Success requires a deep integration of digital media into business processes.” Prof. Alexander Rossmann from Reutlingen University gives a clear answer to these questions. And his statement goes far beyond that companies should be active in social media. It is said that digital media must be part of the corporate strategy and of all internal and external processes.

The President of the German Marketing Association, Prof. dr. Ralf E. Strauß goes into the same nickname in the trade magazine “Absatzwirtschaft” (12/2014): “Seldom has the function of marketing been subject to so many changes. It’s not about constantly chasing after the latest buzzwords. Rather, it is about the systematic search for strategies and factors that help to realize success in digital business. ”

Oh, scary! What does that mean? Everything new, everything different? No certainly not. Much more should companies, marketers should remember a very classic property: listen! “Social media requires customer interaction,” says the article by Prof Strauß. In good Baden: “You have to chat with de Leut …” Because nothing else is the commitment of a company in social media: close, direct, unfiltered customer contact.

So, oh, oh horror? No again! After all, is not it the most important thing that we as a company know what our customers think about us, our products? What you really need, want, wish for? Aunt Emma still knew that. With social media, businesses can do it again today.

What is needed for successful social media channels in companies?

Point 1: a strategy. The most important questions for me are: What does my customer journey look like? What are my (product) messages? For whom are they relevant when? Which channels do I use to reach my customers and prospects? What is the feedback from customers on these channels?

Point 2: new structures. Strategy in times of social media is not a five-year plan. It is a process. Hierarchical structures are difficult. So we have to ask ourselves in the company, how can management, development, IT, marketing, sales, HR and service providers work together to achieve these goals or to always adapt them to customer requirements? “Customers do not take internal company structures into account. This requires efficient cross-departmental collaboration, “says David Schmidt, Head of Social Media at Telekom AG.

Point 3: a little bit of time. We all know that: In the hamster wheel of day-to-day business, there is seldom time to think about new ways. I had to learn: this is wrong! You have to take this time. And sometimes take external help. Professionals can inform us about the developments and possibilities of communication in a digital world. On this basis, it is possible to think about which of the upcoming communication tasks can be solved in-house and where external help is needed. Of course, time always means money in a company. But I think losing contact with customers is much more expensive.