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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is not only a term, but also a way of life and survival strategy in today's society. Nowadays, social media marketing has the aim to make the content, products and services well-known and to get in contact with potential customers, business partners and peers through the use of social platforms. Through the use of social media marketing, the company attract more people to their web site and strengthen brand awareness among customers (Weinberg, Ladwig, & Pahrmann, 2012).

Social platforms

According to Gr''nderszene, an online magazine for founders, entrepreneurs and start-ups, social platforms are social networks on the Internet, where people can meet friends, acquaintances or strangers with similar interest can communicate with each other through digital networking (Gr''nderszene, n.d.). These resulting relationship networks are used by the community members to share personal data and information, discuss or share other content with the community. On these platforms, users can sign in and create their own personal profile. This personal profile is similar to a virtual profile with personal information. This can be, for instance, a profile picture.

There are different forms of social platforms. Firstly, the large communities, such as Facebook and Xing. On the other hand, there are also numerous small networks that deal with very specific interests and issues. An example of a small social network in Germany is LinkedIn. Moreover, not only large communities, but also small communities could have potential for FashionKarriere. On these social platforms, the community members create the content itself and constantly expand and innovate it.

Popular examples of social platforms  are Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. For businessmen LinkedIn and Xing are both a special type of social platforms, namely business networks. Moreover, companies could use different types of networks in order to reach and attract as many people as possible. This is very important for companies, for the reason that they need to build a large network.

The definition 'social platforms' means more for companies than to meet acquaintances, strangers or friends. On these platforms, companies build large networks and attract as many people as possible. In this time and today's society, it is very important to interact with (potential) customers via social platforms, because it will lead to brand awareness, customer loyalty etcetera. In other words, it will lead to success.

The number of internet users in Germany has increased dramatically over the years. It has grown with 40.6 per cent since the year 2010 (Statista, 2015). 'Verwijzen naar grafiek? Nowadays, the use of social platforms is an important part of any recruitment process (Soziale Netzwerke: Die wichtigsten Social-Media-Plattformen im ''berblick, 2016). For companies, in particular, it is important to answer the question, which social media platforms a company in Germany should use. Is Xing the most usable and interesting social platform in the recruiting process of the fashion retail in Germany? Or are there other more social platforms interesting for companies to use in the fashion retail and which other platforms exist in Germany?

It is very important to know which social platforms has potential for your company. Many companies underestimate the power of social media. Therefore, companies need to have more knowledge and skills on the use of social platforms.

Selected Social platforms used by competitors

In this chapter, potential social platforms are selected based on the social platforms used by the competitors. In addition, the selected platforms are described.

To measure the potentiality of a social platform, social platforms of two competitors are researched, selected and analyzed.  To find out which social platforms could offer FashionKarriere potential, FashionKarriere needs to know which social platforms are used by its competitors. According to an interview with Diana Bergman , senior recruiter FashionKarriere, FashionKarriere has a few competitors (see Appendix A). 'Fashionunited' and 'headhunting for fashion' are selected to be analyzed.

Table 1 shows the use of social platforms by its competitors. As can be seen in Table 1, Headhunting for Fashion and FashionUnited both use Facebook, XING, Google+ and LinkedIn. FashionUnited also uses Twitter, Instagram and Youtube in order to communicate. For this reason, FashionUnited is more active online than FashionKarriere and Headhunting for Fashion. For FashionKarriere it is important to know why its competitors 'Headhunting for Fashion' and 'FashionUnited' use the social platforms mentioned in Table 1.

Facebook Xing Google+ Twitter LinkedIn Instagram Youtube

FashionUnited (Deutschland) X X X X X X X

Headhunting for Fashion X X X - X - -

Table 1: The use of social platforms by competitors.

Selected social platforms

Facebook

Facebook is very important to strengthen customer loyalty. According to the statistics portal Statista 36.82 million German users were registered on Facebook as of May 2016 (Statista, 2016). In other words, approximately 46 per cent of the German  population  use Facebook. The number of people companies can reach with Facebook is often the main reason why companies use this social platform in the recruitment process. Facebook is used primarily for communication between the members ' in addition the communication between the German candidates and companies. On official profiles of service providers or brands on Facebook, a constant exchange of praise, criticism and experience is present. Moreover, this real-time interaction can be a challenge, for the reason that it takes time and the skills to react professionally. However, it can also strengthen customer loyalty significantly (1&1, 2016).

Twitter

One of the advantage of the social platform Twitter is, that it offers a high degree of interactivity and speed, which makes it possible for the company to communicate the right message directly to as many people as possible. Due to the directly communication, people can respond immediately and may enter into discussions directly. However, according to the statistic portal Statista, there were about 1.73 million twitter users among the German-speaking population who frequently read posts on Twitter and 3.73 million Germans who make use of the internet to read Twitter posts in 2015 (Statista, 2015). That is approximately 4.0 per cent of the German population.  This is really low compared to the other social platforms.

XING

XING differentiates itself from other popular platforms such as Facebook and Linked In, where it comes to the liberal privacy settings with users. Xing is a typical platform for the businesslike exchange of information. According to the social platform XING, the typical XING user is between the 20 and 49 years old, brand-aware, an individualist and an innovated in technology (XING, 2015).  According to senior recruiter Diana Bergman, the typical XING users are also the target group of FashionKarriere. For that reason, FashionKarriere can get in touch with XING to advertise to this target group (XING, 2015). However, Xing is not much used in the Fashion Industry. (D. Bergmann, personal interview, October 6, 2016) Moreover, XING had only 7,07 million XING members in Germany. This is approximately 8,6 per cent of the population. Nevertheless, it is the most popular social platform for business contacts in Germany.

According to brand consultant Jan P''tzscher, brand consultant, clear business objectives are present. These clear business objectives are: establish and maintain contacts easily, presentation and representation, recruiting in the field of professionals, acquisition and distribution. (P''tscher, 2012) http://www.personalmanagement.info/hr-know-how/fachartikel/detail/die-bedeutung-von-xing-im-recruiting-prozess/ 'meer uit de bron halen en bij references zetten.

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