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Headerbild Blogbeitrag Achim Hepp

''Social media offers start-ups great opportunities – let's use them!''

New team member: Achim Hepp – digital and social media expert

Achim Hepp grew up without the internet, and yet he is more ''digital native'' than most people belonging to the ''generation internet''. In 1986 he first went online and saw already back then the possibilities offered by the new technology.

With over 30 years of experience, he is an online veteran and is considered an absolute expert in the fields of:
- Social media for companies
- Digital branding & recruiting
- Digital location marketing
– Start-ups

Orangery: Achim, you joined Orangery as a permanent team member. What will be your task? Achim Hepp: As a social media expert, I will be working with the start-ups to improve their social media presence. Social media offers start-ups great opportunities: It has never been easier to address clients individually with targeted advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn and the like as it is today – provided there is an appropriate strategy in place. For this purpose, I first ask questions, e.g. who exactly are the targeted clients and with what objective and what content they should be addressed. This way, we are able to define the channel or channels in social media worth considering.

"Specifically, every company must reflect about social media measures before launching them: Which channels shall I use, with which content, for whom and for what purpose?"

Which channels shall I use, with which content, for whom and for what purpose?

One of my tasks will therefore be the development of a social media strategy. This strategy, worked out together with the start-ups within the framework of workshops, will ideally speed up the achievement of specific corporate goals. If it appears in the course of the workshop that specialists are needed for this, for example for video or audio productions, I will procure the appropriate people from my network. And of course I am also available for all other digital topics.

Orangery: Why do people need experts like you for this purpose? After all, digital marketing is not a completely new discipline in Germany. Achim Hepp: This is simple: If you want to achieve professional results, you need to let experts have a go at it! Otherwise, you will only produce half-baked results. Besides, the topic "digital customer approach" is still a Cinderella subject in Germany. Social media, for example, is often dealt with in passing and not very thoroughly. The motivations range from: "Well, everyone's on Facebook now" to: "I want the same thing as our competitor XY". At the start, I usually persuade the customers out of half of their ideas. Because they are copied from the competition and have little or nothing to do with their own company. What many companies still do not realize is that social media needs a strategy in the first place. This strategy in turn needs three things to become a success: investment readiness, patience and a lot of time. And there has to be someone who knows how to provide that. That's where I come into play.

Orangery: What is your personal motivation to join the Orangery? Achim Hepp: Dominik and I founded the start-up company "Erste Digital" (today Virado) together in 2014 and have been in close contact ever since. In addition to this personal experience, there are often points of contact with start-ups in my everyday work and I find it extremely exciting to see how the topic has been developing in recent years and will certainly continue in doing so – having the opportunity to experience this here at the Orangery in such a concentrated way is a great thing. Moreover, start-ups are still at the very beginning of their company history and are very open-minded towards outside impulses – to me, this is like a big playground. I can really give myself free rein and put a lot into practice.

I advise you to limit yourself to two channels at the beginning, but to operate them correctly

Orangery: What advice do you give particularly to start-ups in terms of their social media strategy? For example, are there any specific peculiarities in their approach? Achim Hepp: The most important message right from the start: Don't get bogged down in details. You don't have to play all channels with all kinds of content simultaneously. Usually, the teams are still small with limited financial resources. Start-ups should check their requirements thoroughly and bundle their capacities accordingly. Digital customer communication is an ongoing process that needs to be revised on a regular basis for the achievement of previously defined goals. So there must be someone who takes care of the issue, responds to customer inquiries, criticism etc. in a fast and reliable way! If this cannot be guaranteed, a reduction of activities is judicious. My advice is to set yourself a limit of two channels at the beginning, but to use them correctly. By the way, being fast is extremely important for start-ups – it is expected by stakeholders. Medium-sized companies or corporations, for example, can afford a longer reaction time. Why? A start-up can't position itself as agile, disruptive and innovative and then take 3 days for a Twitter response – this makes you completely unreliable. It is also important that the reaction is personal – in the best case, the face of one of the founders is behind it. This indicates that a start-up is already on the right track to a credible social media presence.

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