Social media is dead – long live conversational marketing

Social media was once considered a golden grail for direct marketing to the customer and heralded the paradigm shift from one-way communication to the feedback channel. Brands could see for the first time whether the target group and followers are really one and received praise or nasty annoyance when things did not go that way.

Much has happened since then – platforms have come, gone or nibbling at the meaningfulness. For brands, putting it on the right platform and producing the right content to the point is not an easy task. In addition, algorithms make life difficult, turn the tap on organic reach, and force companies into unconditional ad investing.

And thanks for all the effort? The user itches hardly more – interaction rates, fan growth and commitment are clearly in the basement or are processed by puzzling senior women.

Did we maybe miss something?

Yes, perhaps. And it has to do with what we can observe, for example, in public transport, restaurants and concert arenas. People are in constant dialogue, but not necessarily in the manner of influencers as public publishers, but more and more private with individuals or in group chat.


“Privacy first” is the new direction, as Mark Zuckerberg recently introduced at his F8 conference in San Jose. What does that mean specifically for companies? What can and should be done to benefit from this?

You want to know more about marketing strategies? On Day Two of Munich Marketing Week, you’ll learn what’s possible with or in spite of the online giants.

1. More power for community management

A well-stocked editorial plan was once the universal solution for getting in touch with the target group on a daily basis. We have long since said goodbye and recommend today rather a 10:20 grid, which simply means that 10 good posts also have 20 ads to follow.

Much more important, however, is the active community management, which does not just comment on comments and distribute hearts, but actively involves users in the direct dialogue. Here, alleged problems can be discreetly discussed and sales generated.

2. reasons a group

The feed has become a digital advertising brochure, in which we are all complicit. To address users directly and exclusively, it pays to build a group, whether on Facebook or in Messenger.

Talk to super fans, vote on posts and ads, give them the sneak premiere and find out what the most loyal loyalists think and discuss about the brand. You will thank it with Shares and active User2User Community Management.

Also interesting: how local marketing campaigns can override the Amazon effect

Learn from the multiplication table of B2B marketing

Whenever you sit down with a medium-sized B2B company and ask for the best acquisition strategy, the answer is: “The personal conversation, where we convert the most leads.” Why should that be different with B2C, why should that be different with social media?

Save yourself one or the other post and replace it with the daily dialogue. At the start like a chatbot, but after the second filter someone should lead the conversation, which can convince and with sympathy and know-how makes the lead for sale.

4. Think about smart messenger services

China has pioneered WeChat and Mark Zuckerberg will sooner or later successfully copy it. The Messenger will in the future network everything together and unite communication, interaction and sales. This not only means that the WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram messengers are merged, but also that users chat with brands as with friends and settle the bill with the deposited card at the end.

Here you can learn from the otherwise sleepy travel industry that has been pumping their offers into Germany’s most popular messenger (73 percent usage) with WhatsApp services. And that also with opt-in, so voluntarily, virtually free. And guess who’s there first, when this whole purchase, order and reservation mode will be available in Messenger. That’s why you should think about this topic today, offer your own service and build a community.

Also interesting: the future is private

About the author: André Gebel is Management Board Consultant and Strategy at Coma AG in Munich. Customers of the digital marketing agency include Saturn, Tempo, Globetrotter, XING Events, Paulaner and Montana. He writes his travel blog privately:

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