Social media has become a key communications tool. They are now a fundamental component of online marketing strategies and important ways to achieve objectives, increase profits and construct a positive brand identity. Put simply, they can be used to reach consumers in a very direct and unique way.
Though the benefits are well documented, however, not all companies and businesses use all social media platforms. A strategy is needed to determine which ones are likely to be the most useful for interacting with consumers. Businesses must bear in mind their particular objectives and what they hope to achieve, the nature of their product, how they want to sell it and how they want to reach potential customers. If all these questions are considered, visibility on social media is likely to be more effective and able to connect with the target audience.
According to a study conducted by Ebiquity with American Express, the social media platforms used most by companies are:
Facebook. It continues to head the ranking of social media platforms, used by 41% of the companies featured in the study. Its use has, however, fallen five points since autumn 2014.
LinkedIn. The networking platform has also seen a drop in use since last year, yet it continues to be the second most-popular network. LinkedIn helps companies to generate more traffic and visibility, allowing them to position themselves in the sector.
Google+. Google+ helps companies to reach out not only to their clients but also to their workforce. It remains in third place despite experiencing the sharpest decline in use, down 11% since last year.
YouTube. Has experienced a decline of just 2% since last autumn. This monster platform is the ideal way to interact with users and generate engagement through the use of videos. In addition, it’s suitable for almost all different kinds of companies, from consumer brands to those focused on B2B operations.
Twitter. Together with YouTube, Twitter has seen the least-drastic decline in use: just 2% since the last study. Thanks to recent changes users no longer have to follow each other to send private messages, a change that will allow companies to reach out directly to users without the need for middlemen.
Instagram. The only platform to have increased in use since the last study. It now sits in sixth place in the rankings, and has proved popular among companies looking for new, more visual ways to capture the audience’s attention.
An understanding of how such platforms work is essential for effective communications, yet many companies don’t possess such social media savvy. Luckily, there are agencies specialised in social media. MdC, for example, has strong experience of developing and rolling out communications strategies tailored to clients’ individual needs, featuring everything from app development to competitions aiming to reach the final consumer. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are the platforms used most by the agency.
In addition, Marco de Comunicación has developed a unique methodology for social media management, IMSI, based on four key pillars: Informing, Mobilising, Surveying and Interacting. This approach forms part of the agency’s 360º campaigns which incorporate elements of the marketing mix, including advertising, digital PR, press relations and public affairs, into the same integrated strategy.