The Internet and the growing usage of mobile devices offer new marketing and advertisement possibilities. Here, consumers are not passive anymore but can take action. Therefore, it is important to listen to consumers needs and understand their behaviour in order to use social media tools effectively. There are four reasons (4C´s) why people use social media:
The right usage of social media results not only in a positive ROI and the accomplishment of long-term goals but more importantly it tackles awareness, enables engagement and word-of-mouth.
The same applies to mobile application software. Companies should release an app. Apps are valued for their functionality and consumer like them, whereas ads portrayed in apps are disliked. It is important to distinguish five strategies. An app should either
- Add convenience
- Offer unique values
- Provide social value
- Offer incentives
- Or entertain.
While reading the assigned literature, I wondered whether those strategies apply for both B2C and B2B marketers. The authors of the articles I read (Swani, Brown, & Milne, 2015; Conlin, 2014) state that both businesses should use social media in the same way, mainly to increase brand loyalty, awareness, reputation, engagement, customer relationships, sales and profitability. They discuss several points, which are necessary to follow. Companies need to
- balance functional and emotional relevance,
- use social media as a communication platform not as a selling tool,
- personalize not only their products but also their online content,
- add visuals,
- come up with creative and innovate campaigns.
I analysed two companies, based on the literature, namely General Electrics and BMW. I chose those companies because GE is a B2B and BMW is a B2C company.
Surprisingly, GE´s online presence is better than the one by BMW. GE uses nearly every social media channel and uses the diverse features and strengths for their advantage. While doing it, they still publish a cohesive message. Through the various channels, GE tries to humanize the brand. The company comes up with innovative ways to interact with the consumer, such as the #6SecondScience Fair campaign, which allows people to upload their own science experiments. BMW on the other hand has a very standardized Facebook page, and the posts seem repetitive. Nevertheless, it provides apps, wherein users can experience the product and the feelings that it provides. The main difference between those two companies is that GE actually tries to interact with the consumer, e.g. answering questions and responds to posts whereas BMW hardly every responds.
I think that BMW has already such a large fan community that it puts less effort into its social media channels, whereas GE ‘just’ started to get in contact with the end consumer.
What do you think of this topic? Do you know companies who are doing a good/bad job? Do you think that companies with a certain fan base can lay back or do they even need more promotion?
Conlon, G. (2014). Are B2B & B2C marketing really all that different? Direct Marketing News. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1549544975/abstract?accountid=13598
Frink, W. (2014, April 8). How 122-Year-Old General Electric Is Killing It on Social Media. Entrepreneur. Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/232918
Heine, C. (2013, Oct. 4). GE Gets 30% Better Returns Through Smart Content Marketing: CMO Beth Comstock on her brand’s five-year comeback. Adweek. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/ge-gets-30-better-returns-through-smart-content-marketing-152946
Moth, D. (2013, May 16). How BMW uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://econsultancy.com/blog/62741-how-bmw-uses-facebook-twitter-pinterest-and-google#i.3m1nzx1doxfmcp
Swani, K., Browns, B. P., & Milne, G. R. (2014). Should tweets differ for B2B and B2C? And analysis of fortune 500 companies’ Twitter communications. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(5). Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019850114000492#