Social media guide for brands

In this day and age of millennials, digital natives, generations Y, Z and the like, social media marketing and the use of various social media channels is becoming increasingly relevant for companies - but why?

First of all, what is social media and how did it come about in the first place?

In 1997, Sixdegrees.com was probably the first social network that allowed users to create profile pages, list friendships with other users and search through other users' friend lists. It was also possible to get in touch with other users via messages. Like today's social media platforms, Sixdegrees.com was financed by advertising and was therefore able to offer free use. As a result, the better-known social networks Myspace and Facebook were founded. Social media platforms therefore allow their users to create, share and react to user-generated content and to network and get in touch with other users.

Who uses social media?

Over three billion people around the world use social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, Xing, etc. In Germany alone, around 40 million internet users are active on social networks, and the trend is rising. Social networks are particularly important for reaching a younger target group, as 89% of 16 to 24-year-olds, 71% of 25 to 44-year-olds and even 66% of 10 to 15-year-olds use social networks, according to the Federal Statistical Office. Most users use platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to keep in touch and be inspired by new trends and products. 33% of those surveyed in a study even stated that social media are an integral part of their everyday lives.

What does this mean from a brand perspective?

Around 20 to 50% of all purchasing decisions are decisively influenced by word of mouth. The targeted promotion of products by opinion leaders, also known as influencers, is therefore an effective and authentic method of brand positioning. Social signals are particularly important here. If these social signals are positive, this shows that the content or product is good, high quality, authentic and relevant. This also encourages other users to share the content, which in turn is important for SEO. If all factors match, it can even happen that the post goes viral through very frequent sharing. Social networks also offer a brand the opportunity to present itself through its posts and behavior on these social platforms and to become more approachable for customers. They allow the brand easier and more personal interactions with customers and the target group. They also offer a brand the opportunity to network with colleagues, competitors and relevant sites and personalities within the industry in order to better follow current trends and opinions and use them to its advantage.
Social media are therefore an important part of product and brand communication and are an ideal marketing tool for sales promotion, but also for image cultivation and increasing brand awareness. Social networks can also be used for customer service, market research and for HR/HR and Research & Development.
In a company, a so-called social media manager takes care of a detailed social media strategy that pursues the individual company goals on social networks. It is often advisable to commission a professional advertising agency or creative agency for social media marketing and content creation, as they already have the expertise, capacity and tools to develop and implement a social media strategy.

The fact is, a professional social media presence takes time and needs to be well and regularly maintained. If you plan your social media campaign effectively, you can achieve a lot even with a small budget.

brot & salz tip: Do you already have a website? Then draw your visitors' attention to your social media channels with suitable social media icons!