The Bosch Company appears to have a strong and comprehensive presence within the world of social media. This is crucial as social media is a truly powerful and invasive tool that can be used to build relationships with new customers and strengthen already existing relationships with old customers. "Building a social strategy takes time and careful attention, but the point is: you need one. Many of my friends don't watch TV, don't read magazines or newspapers, and get most of their news from Twitter and Facebook. So where will brands have the best chance of engaging my friends? On Twitter and Facebook. Social media builds brand awareness in ways that no other form of media can and reaches customers who would be otherwise unreachable" (Barbara, 2012). The Bosch Company appears to have an acute understanding of this and has worked hard to create a truly invasive presence along social media, striving to stay in touch with customers, potential customers and employees has inclusively as possible.
For example, when it comes to the Bosch Facebook page, the company has diversified their presence on Facebook, a smart and strategic move. For example, there's a Bosch Auto Parts page, a Bosch Appliances page, a Bosch power tools page and a Bosch Global page. This indicates that the company has worked hard to have their company represented on a range of facets via social media. The entire company unit is represented on Facebook, via Bosch Global; this is important as it allows this massive entity is able to communicate with the public. Then the strategy also effectively allows each main division of Bosch to have its own Facebook page: this is equally intelligent as it allows smaller entities within the massive corporation to engage with customers. For example, some customers might only know of Bosch from work with their auto parts; thus with those customers, establishing a strong rapport with them over social media allows that working bond to be strengthened as the Bosch auto parts page can alter these customers of important updates, news and products while opening the door for the customer to become more aware of other Bosch lines and the company at large.
It's also a nice addition that the Bosch company even has a Bosch Campus page for employees, which attempts to fortify the bond between employer and employee. The page encourages them to exercise, updates them on employee accomplishments and provides support.
The Bosch company has taken the exact same strategies with their presence on Twitter: they've created multiple accounts, representing the global Bosch, national Bosch branches around the world, and separate branches of the company (such as auto parts, home appliances, etc.). This allows customers to get sound bites and quick chunks of information from Bosch in real time -- without having to search for this information on the newspaper or in magazine. Twitter is very simply an effective communications tool which allows businesses. However, it still remains to be seen is Bosch has or will more aptly and thoroughly integrate Twitter into their entire PR and marketing strategy. As it now stands, it appears as though Bosch is using Twitter as a separate entity. Furthermore, the company needs to work harder at using twitter as a form of market research for asking customers questions about changes and products they'd like to see. As it stands, the company uses it mostly as a form of one-way communication.
Bosch's Use of the Internet and Website
The social media aspect of internet usage, as established in the earlier discussion, is well controlled by Bosch. While there is always room for improvement, the Bosch company at large, both nationally and internationally has established a satisfactory presence on the web through channels like Facebook and Twitter. However, one of the overwhelming flaws with the Bosch website is that it there is no connection to its social media pages. This is entirely problematic as the Bosch website should act as the central hub from which all social media pages spread. The lack of social media links on the Bosch website represents an overall lack of cohesiveness. The lack of social media links means that the Bosch company sees their website and their social media presence as two separate entities. This is problematic; while these two different branches have completely distinct tasks, they should be seen as two spokes in the same wheel.
The Bosch homepage is open for interpretation and debate: the Bosch.us page has a slightly cluttered look, and one could argue that it's simply overwhelming with information from the side menu and from the center of the page. However, one of the major flaws with this website is that the home page focuses on the company's interests, rather than the interests and needs of the customer. This is problematic, as it makes any visit to the company website slightly off-putting for the customer. "Get their attention with benefits-oriented headline and text. The headline should make clear what you do and suggest a benefit. For example, 'Fast, accurate transcription for Monroe County Medical Offices and Hospitals,' or 'Phone systems that grow with your business'" (score.org). Another danger that the Bosch website falls into is that the homepage is filled with a lot of financial jargon about how valuable each of the individual sectors of Bosch is, something that most consumers don't care about. For example, the homepage proclaims the following about the Bosch automotive division: "Automotive Technology is Bosch's largest business sector in North America, with sales of approximately $6.3 billion in 2011. As one of the leading automotive suppliers in North America, the Automotive Technology business sector employs over 14,000 associates at approximately 30 primary locations" (Bosch.us). One could argue that this almost makes the company seem like they're bragging about their size or success or talking about information that's almost meaningless to the average customer.
Other than that, the company does have an extremely well-organized and thorough website, that's absolutely teeming with information for the customer. It's easy for the customer to figure out how to contact Bosch, by phone or email which is a smart provision of the website as so many other companies just have an electronic form for the customer to use, which can sometimes be frustrating when a consumer wants to speak to a real individual. The website also intelligently enough as a "my Bosch" page which allows them to select wallpaper which contains well-shot photographs of Bosch products, or even screensavers. This is represents a smart decision to solidify a bond with customers, making each customer into a potential fan of the company.
However, one of the challenges of the website is that the company has to try to present all the copious information about the various divisions and news about the multi-faceted company in a way that doesn't look cluttered and overwhelming. It would be accurate to surmise that the company website essentially teeters on the edge of potentially looking too cluttered, as it's always apparent to the visitor that there's a wealth of information readily available at all times.
Bosch and Green Credentials
An additional favorable aspect of the Bosch is that it is a company which truly considers itself to be a leader in the industry and rightly so. Thus, the Bosch website is apt to devote an entire page to explaining how Bosch meets the needs of energy efficiency in this current day and age when such things are an extreme need: "Bosch offers its customers energy-efficient solutions in all its divisions -- from Automotive Technology and Consumer Goods and Building Technology to Industrial Technology. Products range from energy-saving cooling appliances and modern heating systems to machine tools.
The EU estimates that primary energy consumption in residential buildings alone can be cut by 27% by 2020. In total, private households and small-scale users are responsible for 19% of Europe's CO2 emissions. That is around the same as the amount produced by traffic. The share generated by industrial production processes is 16%" (Bosch.com). This data demonstrates that the Bosch company has done their homework and necessary research and that they are willing and able to meet the needs of consumers who demand energy efficiency for a greener world.
Even more compellingly Bosch actively works to set a standard of green credentials with the rest of the world, sparking this desire among its competitors. For example, in 2010 the company pushed for energy conservation with a video contest entitled, "Watts Your Green Tip?" which seeks for consumer input for energy efficiency. "The company is dangling a $6,000 Bosch kitchen appliance package as a prize for top video on how to save resources at home. Participants have to make a video up to one minute in length and upload it through the contest tab on Bosch's Facebook page. The video contest winner will be decided with the help of online voting" (mediapost.com, 2010). This is a truly smart endeavor that both pushes people to participate in…