Social media is under the spotlight with Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Individuals and organisations are watching closely and debating whether Twitter will degenerate into a platform they no longer wish to be associated with.
It has also reignited a wider debate among companies, especially those in the B2B space, about their use of social media and how effective it is.
Our view remains that social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for companies if used well and thoughtfully. It has a place in every industry, even traditional ones like financial services. With billions of daily active users across the world, social media is today’s most popular communication channel. It has revolutionised the way people communicate and access information, offering the opportunity to connect and reach audiences that otherwise would have been inaccessible.
Brunswick’s 2022 investor survey showed that 80% of investors use digital channels daily. Moreover, investors want to hear from companies across a variety of digital touchpoints and believe that effective digital communication is especially important in moments of crisis.
LinkedIn is among the most trusted sources for investors and other stakeholders for corporate information and news. To put this in perspective, LinkedIn has 675 million monthly users. The FT has a paying readership of 1.2 million. Both media are valuable platforms, but businesses can reach a vast network of stakeholders, investors, employees, and future employees through the power of social media channels.
What does this mean in practice?
Business use of social media cannot simply be done quickly, cheaply and without careful consideration. It is vital to have a social media strategy in place that supports and complements your communications plan and provides value to your audience. It should be approached with commitment and with a clear plan and focus to help maximise its power.
While it may be free to create a social media profile, the truth is that social media communication takes time and requires resources to build a presence, a community, and to establish connections and trust. From there you can establish a foundation for ongoing business relationships but the idea that from day one LinkedIn will give you an immediate audience of millions, that your Instagram post will ‘go viral’, or that adding a hashtag to your tweet will essentially give you ad reach for free is very optimistic. It’s about how well you utilise the channels, your content, and how visual and innovative you are.
Your audience is looking for quality, not quantity. Showing up on their news feed is important but capturing their attention when you do appear is critical. So our advice is always to find out what appeals to your audience in order to post high-quality content that will increase your engagement.
Social media is a strategic endeavour with measurable results. But not all social media channels will be relevant for your business, so pick channels with care, considering your content, and your desired audience and focus on making your presence professional, polished, and attractive.
This is where data and analytics bring huge benefits; in fact they offer some of the greatest advantages of social media. Because you can track everything, from demographics to the number of clicks on a post, you can leverage the data you gather to make powerful changes in your business.
This means that businesses can make informed decisions about which platforms they wish to be on, monitor the changes as Twitter develops for example, decide if evolving demographics and priorities mean that they should really be on TikTok (see the LMG’s latest decision to join for London Insurance Life promotion) and whether being associated with one platform or another is appropriate.
Returning to Twitter for a moment, many firms are for the moment maintaining a “watching brief” while simultaneously ensuring that they keep various options open. Knee-jerk reactions have been few.
Of course, if you need support and advice, we’re here. Haggie Partners has years of social media management experience, an innovative skill set and a proven track record of combining the traditional with the modern and helping our clients’ social media become one of their most powerful communication channels. Get in touch!