Harnessing the Power of Social Media
Social media provides us the opportunity to build more meaningful relationships with our audience(s) through direct engagement. Building this rapport hinges on two-way communication, meaning that we should listen to our audience(s) as much as we share.
It’s important to note, however, that there are risks associated with using social media, specifically for our brand reputation.
Making the most of social media also means avoiding potential pitfalls. And to accomplish both, we should:
Actively partake in the discussions about us, our topic areas and our products to help influence how we are perceived from the outside.
Communicate directly with clients, partners and other interested parties to forge stronger relationships with them.
Get to know our target audiences and their needs even better to improve what we offer based on their feedback.
React proactively, flexibly and constructively to criticism.
Who We Are on Social Media
We want to build a strong, distinctive and recognizable brand across all our channels. That’s why it’s essential to define what and how we communicate on social media to most effectively shape how Bayer is perceived by our audiences.
Our stories center on how scientific innovation benefits and enriches people’s lives everywhere. In addition to sharing what we do, we also want to learn as much as we can from our target audiences. By listening and communicating, we’re better able to gather insights from every interaction to help us produce more meaningful content that will resonate even more.
Our presence on social media should express our core values. As such, it’s essential that we are visionary, optimistic and passionate in how we conduct ourselves online. In fact, this informs every facet of Bayer’s digital presence including our tone of voice, content, visual appearance as well as community management.
Join Our Social Media Activities
We actively encourage all Bayer employees to join our social media activities. Social media are accessible from most of our internal devices. Follow the action by becoming a fan or follower of our channels or join the interaction yourself. Just make sure it does not interfere with work and no rules are breached.
Potentials & Risks of Social Media
If you find yourself needing to start a new channel, having an understanding of the platform landscape is critical.
It can be quite difficult to decide which platforms best support your goals. To give you some orientation to forge your path forward, we’ve listed some of the most common channels and their individual focal points below:
The Big 5 at Bayer
Facebook is by far the largest social platform. As Facebook’s advertising platform can be highly customized to target specific audiences, it is an excellent tool for generating engagement. Facebook is a social platform that can be used to enter into dialogue and build up a relationship with your community. It is great for promoting events, and Facebook groups function as sub-communities. By showing the human side of business, we can turn our audience into loyal followers and customers. You can reach a large number of people with different types of content on Facebook — preferably lightweight — but there’s a high level of competition. Facebook is also a platform that supports moving imagery.
Twitter is a microblog that is best for real-time updates and news. The microblog supports different kinds of content (pictures / videos / GIFs) with copy limited to 280 characters. Information-based content is particularly suitable. Twitter is useful in targeting journalists, multipliers and opinion-makers. Using the appropriate hashtags in Twitter can help your tweet reach a broader audience and promote thought leadership.
Instagram has millions of active users and is a highly interactive, visual platform. Users share pictures and videos on Instagram, often tagging content with hashtags join larger conversations. Instagram also supports stories in the form of short videos and/or photo combinations, which disappear after 24 hours. Instagram is perfectly suited for channel takeovers, live reporting, and sharing a behind-the-scenes look at Bayer. You need a strong branding concept to run a successful account.
YouTube is the world’s largest video platform with over one billion users. It can be used for reputation management, employer branding, talent recruiting, or building a fan base. Users can subscribe to channels to receive immediate updates from brands they follow, offering you direct access to your viewers as soon as you upload a new video. It is the second-largest search engine in the world, with its results also appearing in Google. Through search engine optimization, you can title your videos in ways that increase their visibility. For added reach, you can also embed YouTube videos directly in websites. All this, and you can also keep in touch with your stakeholders via comments, likes and shares. Unfortunately, YouTube’s comment function is often used for negative remarks. YouTube should therefore be used less as a platform for dialogue and more as a content hub for videos.
LinkedIn is a global social business network for lead generation with over 260 million monthly active users. It is ideal for B2B communications and thought-leadership content. As a global social business network for lead generation, you can use LinkedIn to drive business results, raise brand awareness, recruit, promote career opportunities, and educate potential customers about your products and services. You can see a lot of positive engagement on LinkedIn, and real dialogue about your topics can take place here. Managers can be positioned as advocates.