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For companies, a social media presence has become indispensable and should therefore be integrated into the marketing strategy. Brands and companies should make sure that they stand out from the crowd and provide target group-oriented content. In an interview with Luna Journal, social media expert Yasemin Köktürk revealed how this works.
You have built your business through the social networks. How did you do it and how do you advise other companies to do it?
Yasemin Köktürk, Managing Director of “New Faces Beauty” and social media expert: “When I wanted to present my company on the social media channels 4 years ago, company profiles were not yet so strongly represented on the social media platforms.
In the beginning, I concentrated more on the quantity of contributions, this was mostly rewarded by the algorithms of the individual social media channels, in which the “posting” achieved a greater reach. The regular publishing of contributions took a lot of time, but over time it paid off with more subscribers to my social media profile.
Of course you can’t completely ignore the quality of the pictures at the beginning. Because the quality of the contributions distinguishes a company profile from others. Accordingly, I had to deal with the individual components of a picture and focused on the use of lighting elements – with success (New Faces Beauty – 114 thousand followers, as of 2019). Particularly when presenting a product or a work, the quality of an image on the individual social media channels (specifically Facebook, Instagram) is important. The more aesthetically a motif is staged, the stronger the positive response of the desired target group. Hashtags help to reach the desired target group. For the hashtags, I oriented myself on competitors who maintain similar accounts. The Instagram search also shows not only the popularity of the respective hash tag, but also other related terms. By using the right hashtags, the target group can be defined more precisely and acquired accordingly.
Today, the users of the individual platforms are inundated with content. In addition, the attention span of the users is rather entertaining. That’s why the contributions should be interesting and creative. Companies should be careful to address the target group directly in order to show what the company stands for. After all, the goal is to generate attention with the respective content.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter – which platforms do you use to increase reach?
Primarily I use the social media platform Instagram to generate reach. By using hashtags, the exact target group can be defined and reached.
Choosing the right social media channel can have a big impact on a company. Therefore one should decide for one or two platforms and fill them regularly with content. You should choose the platform where your target group spends the most time.
When developing a social media marketing strategy, it is therefore immensely important to select the individual platforms and decide on a suitable corporate platform.
Companies can choose between Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
To what extent should the algorithm of the respective platform be interacted with?
The algorithm has a strong influence on the visibility of the individual posts. This allows it to intervene differently in the order of the individual posts. This depends on the number of accounts you follow and which content is preferred. In the process, Instagram prioritizes topics that are of high interest to general users. If, for example, a photo or video receives many likes and comments, this signals to the algorithm that the content generates a high level of interest among many users. Accordingly, the contribution is placed high up in the feed. Not only the number of interactions is important, but also how fast the users react and interact with the post. Meanwhile Instagram has given priority to videos instead of pictures. According to official Facebook information, Facebook’s algorithm has been significantly more focused on relevance and personal interactions since the 2018 update. The basic principle is: high-quality content + high commitment = high ranking.
I can give you a tip: Post regularly and always at the right time.
To what extent has your brand awareness changed through social media?
I think Instagram alone has increased my brand awareness by 60 percent. Of course, you can’t ignore the well-known word of mouth. However, I would say that Instagram helped me establish my company in the cosmetics market.
How much time and manpower should a company plan to spend to increase brand awareness?
Maintaining a social media channel is not as easy as it might look from the outside. It’s not for nothing that there are now occupational fields that deal specifically with the presentation of companies on the individual social media platforms. Building my company profile on Instagram has taken a lot of time and still does.
Take pictures of your motif from different perspectives – I personally photograph with the “Sony Alpha 6000” or the iPhone Max 11 and use a ring light. With the right illumination and the right equipment, the quality of a picture or a video is immediately increased. Optimize your images afterwards with the Photoshop editing program without distorting them. Afterwards, the article will be published: Label the image, assign target group-oriented hashtags and finally link the brands and companies used.
In addition, customer contact should not be forgotten. Depending on the volume of enquiries I take 1-2 hours every day to answer general questions. This ensures a strengthening of customer loyalty. Furthermore there is the possibility to increase the traffic on the respective channel by current Instagram stories. In order to generate a significant reach on the respective platform, I advise companies to develop a social media marketing strategy and to invest time and money in it.
To what extent are lotteries conducive to awareness?
Sweepstakes are a simple method to win users. By offering the desired target group an attractive price, attention is drawn to their own company profile. Here one should consider that the enterprise can identify itself with prices to be won also, because otherwise this could swing in the opposite direction. In addition, companies should repeat this strategy more often, since I can say from experience that you will lose many users again after the end of the competition. This makes it all the more important that the price fits the company and reflects the topic of the company. It is often advisable to cooperate with two brands for a competition in order to generate an even greater reach.
In order to be successful in the field of social media, a strategy should be defined in advance. What should you keep in mind?
In addition to the algorithm, companies should of course consider many other things in order to gain reach. Take a closer look at the interests of your followers. Ask what your users are interested in, what they want to see and which hashtags they like to use. The geotagging (the indication of the location) helps to localize the individual postings. This serves to win local followers or users who are interested in the locations. The approach should be strategic and organized. Certain apps now provide the necessary support for daily, weekly or even monthly planning.
The be-all and end-all for gaining a good reach in the social network is the interaction with the followers. This creates a connection between the company and the user that is indispensable for a good company profile. Interpersonal interaction creates a relationship that lends personality to the company.
What are the best times to post on social media?
There are already studies that show which times are best suited for publishing photos and videos on social media channels. My experience is that my posts have the highest reach during the week from 6 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. and that 11 p.m. is the best time to share a post at the weekend. But this is an experience which refers to my target group. Each enterprise should make accordingly own evaluations. The filtered times show, when the desired target group is on the respective platform. If one includes this evaluation in the posts, then these are rather seen and geliked by the desired users. Of course, this only applies to the German time zone and can vary in other countries and must be adjusted accordingly.
How would you use specific features like Instagram Stories or IGTV?
Stories and IGTV are creative online services from Facebook. Instagram is a great competitor to the online streaming and marketing format Youtube. One advantage of this streaming service is that videos remain in the feed and are not automatically deleted after 24 hours, as in the Instagram story. The special feature of IGTV is the format, it supports the trend of vertical, for mobile devices and optimized videos. Thus the length of videos can vary and is not limited. A video on IGTV can be 15 seconds or 10 minutes long. With IGTV and this type of video streaming, reach successes, user gains and marketing successes can be achieved more easily.
How would you react to negative comments?
As a company you always have to reckon with negative comments and ratings. You should strive for it, but you can’t satisfy one hundred percent of your customers. Occasionally bad comments could occur. Sometimes they don’t refer to a poorly executed service, but to other motivations that often don’t have a deeper meaning in social media. One should be aware of this on the Internet and on social media channels. It is crucial how you deal with it. Negative comments do not always have to be detrimental to the image of the company, but can also make a company appear authentic. From my experience, I would simply leave negative comments of a factual nature and take a stand on the problem or criticism. This often creates transparency and sympathy with the users.
How do you advise other companies to advertise an event via social media?
My most successful social media campaign was my Masterclass in February 2019. Depending on the size of the event and the reach I want to achieve, I would try to advertise via the Instagram Feed and the Story. You can also hire well-known personalities for advertising purposes and give them free entry plus food or pay for them in return. The money benefit is calculated according to the effort and range of the preferred person.
How important do you consider a professional social media appearance to be today?
The social networks offer companies a cost-free/low-cost opportunity to increase awareness. In my opinion, it is essential for every company to achieve a certain degree of awareness in order to reach as many customers and people as possible with the services or products and thereby increase sales of the products. Through social networks, customer loyalty can be strengthened and the image of a company promoted. It is important to focus on high quality content, which is essential for a successful social media strategy.
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Image: New Faces Beauty