Lessons learned in Berlin: German SMEs still struggle to grasp Social Media Benefits

By Erik Malchow, YouPro Project Manager, EUROPANORAT Berlin.

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Already half a year has passed since the YouPro Project was carried out in Berlin. Enough time to look back and see how our learners are doing and how the SMEs, where our learners applied the gained theory, are progressing with their online marketing campaigns.

Our learner Ellen (pictured) completed her internship at g+h communication. The agency, set up by two journalists in Berlin, combines many years of experience in different media – print, radio, TV – together with proven expertise in the areas of developmental co-operation and topics connected with globalisation. As Ellen was very interested in becoming a media designer, this was the perfect opportunity to get experience of media projects in and around Berlin. After the project, Ellen shared her impressions:

“With the help of the project, I gained the needed theoretical and practical experience to apply for a higher school in media design. I´m so happy to have been accepted at the Berlin school of creative arts, where I will start in October.”

Ellen´s internship at g+h communication boosted their initiative to launch a new website by implementing social media including Facebook and LinkedIn. CEO Rhan Gunderlach said that she is sure Ellen will turn out to be a great media designer.

The last time the website of g+h communication was updated is about five years ago. The situation is similar in many SMEs. In a small business, there is no extra workforce to update and maintain the site. Many sites are initially made for a pretty good price, but costs for maintenance often explode. Furthermore, SMEs usually don´t have the time to catch up with the latest trends. An additional Facebook page is a great way to keep up to date and inform (potential) customers about recent projects and special offers.

Our learner Ellen still had a hard time convincing the executives at g+h communications of the benefits that come with using social media as a marketing tool. Many decision makers in Germany still see social media as new media, even though it is around for about a decade. Now is about the last time to jump on the social media train and to benefit from easy access to potential customers. For many established managers in Germany, there is a division between private and business spheres, with platforms such as Facebook seen as private tool.

Now, as g+h communications is about to launch their Facebook page, the impact of Ellen’s internship is undeniable, even though it took about half a year for the decision to be made. Our lesson learned: You need lots of time and patience implementing social media marketing in German SMEs.

by chris | This entry was posted in Uncategorized
This project is funded by the Leonardo Transfer of Innovation Programme which is part of the European Union's Lifelong Learning Programme. The content of this website reflects the views only of the author, and the EU cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.