Dennerle goes on Facebook

Companies rely on social networks - past the 1000 mark in just two months

Dennerle recently started running its own Facebook page for the company's umbrella brand, which according to Head of Marketing, Thomas Feierabend, has had an excellent response from users. From active discussions, creative contributions and uploaded photos, a large number of people are getting involved. "We had not anticipated such a big reaction. It is nice to get direct feedback from our customers," says Feierabend.

Within a few days the new community grew to almost 400 members. On 1 September this year, Dennerle passed the 1000 fan mark. And after only two months. This makes Dennerle indisputably the most successful representative of the industry in the area of social media up to now.
 

The company already had some initial experience of this with the Facebook page for the "Nano Cube Club" [www.cubeclub.net], which had already been cited at various industry events as a positive example for communication on social media channels in the pet industry. The page is exclusively aimed at Nano Cube owners and people interested in them. With the new, additional page Dennerle aims to offer a communication and information platform for the main themes of ponds, aquatic plants and aquatics.

The special feature of social networks is the opportunity to communicate with customers and interested parties on an equal footing. The customer has a clear contact person, it is possible to answer questions about products and receive suggestions for improvements. "If criticism is going to be raised about us or our services, then rather somewhere where we have a direct influence and can react immediately," explains Feierabend. The direct contact with the target group is just one advantage of the interactive web; the easy exchange of multimedia content can also be exploited in a variety of ways.

Many companies have recognised the trend and are making use of the networks to increase their profile and gain new customers. Dennerle also tells Facebook users about its products and company projects, however the focus is on the interactive nature of the medium: "We do not overwhelm users with information or advertising messages, but place great emphasis on them using their own initiative," explains Feierabend. This means the users can provide their own content in the course of various campaigns and unleash their creativity. It is not uncommon for the initiators to be amazed: One participant impressed the Palatine company with a poem she had written, and received a Nano Cube as a prize. According to Thomas Feierabend, this example demonstrates the unforeseen possibilities of the social internet: "With our Facebook page, we try to offer added value to the users and we receive added value in return."

There is also always a certain amount of risk associated with the opportunities presented by the internet. Dennerle is aware of this and plans all its Facebook activities in advance. This means the content is always monitored and checked in relation to data protection and the protection of minors. The move towards social networks is a serious and necessary matter: "Having a simple website as your internet presence is no longer enough these days. We cannot and do not want to hide from a development like this," says Thomas Feierabend. This is not following a trend, but rather making use of a marketing instrument that is now standard in modern communication policy.

"If our customers are active on the networks, then the logical consequence is that we do the same," says the Head of Marketing.
In the coming months the offering will be expanded further. This should create added value especially for specialist retailers. The company does not yet want to disclose the precise form this will take. The company remains tight-lipped, as "to put it diplomatically, unfortunately we have already noticed some competitors copying us in many areas," says Feierabend, regretfully. But Dennerle would not be alone in the industry in facing this challenge. He is convinced that ultimately the market players who deal fairly will win through. And the users on social media platforms quickly realise who is competing for the affections of the customers by fair means and who is not.

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