Spiegel magazine recently devoted its cover to “idols of consumption” (German) and described the growing number of YouTube, Facebook or Instagram stars, who are called influencers based on their popularity on the social web. As such, they are enriching the development of what has become the self-evident parallel world of the social web once started by bloggers. But what relevance do these influencers have for marketing, how do they differ, and what is the best way to approach these new opinion leaders?
According to a study on trade fair communication, social media hardly played a role in trade fair success until a few years ago. Today, Facebook channels of trade fairs like Heimtextil are clearly demonstrating that social networks have become indispensable service, advertising and communication platforms for networking with one’s community and make target groups aware of one’s trade fair presence.
Online communication and social media have become an integral part of major events and trade fairs. But how do trade fair organizers conduct their own online marketing and their own social media engagement? What do visitors and especially exhibitors do? Where is further development heading?
We talked with Thimo Schwenzfeier, Head of Marketing Communication for Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH’s textiles and textile technology events. Among other things, Mr. Schwenzfeier is responsible for online marketing for the Heimtextil trade fair, one of the largest international trade fairs for home and building textiles with 69,000 trade visitors and 2,866 exhibitors. As well as for relatively young projects like the ethical fashion show and the Greenshowroom during the Fashion Week in Berlin. Continue reading
Social media engagement is increasingly becoming part of companies’ everyday activities and spreading across department boundaries. Social elements are primarily used in marketing, but are also playing an increasing role in public relations, human resources and customer service. Communication behaviour is rapidly changing with the “shift to mobile”, continuous usage of social networks and messaging apps as well as increasing visualization and video usage, thus making it impossible to ignore the development. Continue reading
The interaction with people in one’s own target markets is one of the primary challenges of online and social media marketing. Succeeding in this regard requires developing one’s own capacity for dialogue in response to requests and exchange via the internet, providing one’s own information services, finding the own target groups online, as well as providing them with information and entering into dialogue with them.
This is the only way to tap into the full potential of online marketing, regardless of whether one wants to achieve increased brand awareness and confidence in their own company, offer improved services or attract new customers. Continue reading
Events and social media are made for each other. Trade fairs and other events are still the most important places to exchange information, demonstrate new products and share with others personally and, for several years now, digitally as well. Presentations, exhibits and meetings provide great content to pass along and distribute digitally on the internet.
This has a direct impact on the communication before, during and after an event. Participation in the social web can be quite a critical success factor, especially when it comes to events that attract a lot of social media-savvy participants. Continue reading
Online marketing is a crucial factor for a company when it comes to enhancing the profile of its own products on the internet. The following guest contribution by Bina Gupta, Maketing Manager at Gelbe Seiten Marketing Gesellschaft and author of the Treffer! Blog, shows how this is also feasible with a small budget.
To enable you to deploy a tight budget for online marketing as effectively as possible, a market analysis is indispensable. Find out where and how you can best reach your target group so that you can concentrate exclusively on the relevant marketing channels. Facebook, Twitter or perhaps Xing? Or would it be better by email? Take a look at the competition, compare the online marketing of your competitors and take their successful strategies as your guide. If you take the first two steps, you’ll not only save money, but also time.
Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are ideal for advertising your product or company cost-effectively. Social media beginners will, for example, soon realise the advantages of “sponsored posts”. With sparse financial resources it is possible to reach the target group you define. The new fans you win will become your first regular customers and they are an important part of cost-effective online marketing: satisfied customers will share their experience with friends around the globe, increasing your initial investment exponentially, and all for free.
At the mention of “free” your potential customers will also prick up their ears. What about some small give-aways? This may be a free download, or a discount code for purchases in your online shop. Place your products inexpensively or even completely free of charge in thematically related blogs or social media channels. If you combine the give-aways with registration for an email newsletter you will receive valuable contact data in addition.
Email marketing is regarded as the online marketing method with the highest ROI. As long as the number of email addresses is manageable, you can send a newsletter at no great expense and without external help even to those who have shown interest in you. If the distribution list grows it may be worthwhile to get support from a service provider.
If you already have a widespread network, you can ask your employees, friends and business contacts to recommend your company. On portals such as LinkedIn, Xing or other social media channels all that’s needed is a single click. This form of online marketing is not only free, but also highly efficient since the recommendations are made by trustworthy individuals.
The social web is now all around us. And it has altered people’s behaviour and expectations. It has not only become normal for “digital natives” to obtain services and current information at all times using social media channels, compare features and expect responses to questions and criticism in chats, forums and timeline posts.
The bar for positive customer experience is very high here, because it is usually defined by global players, who have the required resources, budgets, and staff dedicated specifically to the task. And companies are no longer competing just within their own industries, but with all providers who are setting standards, providing the best service, the simplest process, and the fastest responses to customer requests. And they are doing this on an international scale.
Facebook is used by many medium-sized companies for marketing purposes. The desired result is that fans not only look at posts, but also share and/or comment. But what happens if a fan’s contribution is in violation of the law (e.g. an abusive or racist comment)? Can the company be held liable as the manager of the Facebook page?
Find out which contributions are considered external and whether there is an obligation to curate content in this guest article by Nina Mülhens, Public Relations & Social Media Manager at Gelbe Seiten Marketing Gesellschaft and author for Treffer!, the Gelbe Seiten (German Yellow Pages)blog.
Those who engage in the digital world, contribute more or less automatically to communication. Even listing one’s employer on a LinkedIn profile can be an interesting statement for observant competitors. This applies even more to activities in specialized forums, posting of job topics and involvement of business partners, colleagues and customers in social networks. The boundaries are softening between private and professional realms as well as between internal and external communication. A mixture is forming, which has a lot of positive aspects at first glance. If enthusiasm for one’s own company or its products turns employees into brand ambassadors on their own mission, then positive resonance can be the result. This of course especially applies if the commitment is seen as part of one’s job and actively pursued during working hours. In larger companies, various departments (e.g., PR, recruiting and sales) may well discover the potential of social media for themselves and act independently of one another.