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„The theme social media is significant for every size of company” – expert tips from Torsten Materna (Social Media Talk)

Social Media for companies and retail trade

“Social media is no longer an option for companies and the retail trade, it is an absolute must,” said the blog author, Torsten Materna. The owner of an agency for Internet services (numero2) operates the blog in order to show small companies and retailers how they can profit from social media offers and win over new customers and make more turnover using the right strategies.

Mr Materna, especially the green industry – i.e. garden centres, florist businesses, market gardens, nurseries or landscape gardeners – still find it difficult to use social media commercially. From what company size upwards would you advise such a company to occupy itself with the theme?

Materna: The theme social media is significant for every size of company. Every company has its target group and its customers and they can definitely all be found on the social networks. Since the decision-making process for a product or service differs compared to the past, it is important for a company to be well-known and present for the possible customer. Companies that are found on social networks or whom one reads about are present and can be taken into account during current decision-making processes. On top of this, the social networks offer excellent opportunities of placing fee-based advertising for comparably little money. Companies of every size can profit from this. For example, people who are located in the direct vicinity of the business can be laid down as the advertising target. These come into contact with the advertising and can visit the shop directly to buy something.


Torsten Materna – Photo: numero2

Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing, Instagram … As a small company or retailer does one have to be present across the whole board of social media platforms? How do I recognise which is right for my business?

Materna: The selection of the right platform can be best described as follows: “I make sure I am there where my customers are.” No platform should be operated just for the sake of it. As smaller companies or dealers one can reach people in the direct vicinity very efficiently on Facebook and interest them long-term for the company. XING or LinkedIn are networks where the priority lies on job hunting. Twitter has comparatively little significance in Germany. Instagram is exciting and a definite trend at the moment. Whereby the quality of the entries published on Instagram is very high and thus places high demands. Most people can definitely be found on Facebook. That is why I would clearly recommend dealers to opt for Facebook. It is the safest choice both from an editorial and advertising point of view.


Many retailers and companies also ask themselves, what should I actually post? What do the visitors of my account want to know, what do they want to find out more about? Which photos shall I post? Do you have a few tips for useful contents?

Materna: People love stories. Good stories anchor themselves in peoples’ minds and are thus effective. People want to entertain themselves and be entertained. This especially applies to the social networks. Hence, one should not bore the visitors with frequent product/price postings. More useful content is designed to arouse interest. In the business. In the products or services. The big advantage of the local shop is the opportunity of being able to build up trust to people. Hence, background information on the business is recommendable contents. Explain something about your motivation. Why did you open up the shop? Why did you learn the profession? You were impressed by it. Explain why it is worth visiting your shop. And that has nothing to do with a price reduction. Think about your consulting competence, about the possibility of being able to touch or try something out. Provide the appropriate photos – these can gladly be taken with one’s own mobile phone. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers when compiling the contents. What is more inviting? “Take advantage of the family-friendly shopping atmosphere at …” or perhaps “Men and children enjoy shopping at … While the ladies are looking at the new …, the men and the children can sit on the sofa comfortably, drink something or play on our PlayStation together.” Photos can tell stories. If you want people to come to the shop, show it to them. The atmosphere inside and out, the street, the environment – make it easy for the observers to say “that looks good, I am going to pop by.” Every shop owner is the architect of his story. Tell your story…


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