Without the public social networks that have attracted flocks of consumers over the last decade, there would be no ‘online playground’ for consumer companies to tap into. Without ‘neutral’ sites (meaning, not owned by consumer product or service companies) such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, it is doubtful that consumers would engage in open discussions on their favorite (or not-so-favorite) companies on social media.
We wanted to know several things about how consumer companies are using the largest public social networks (as well as a few things about their own social sites):
- Which types of social platforms are they using – company pages on public social networks (such as Facebook), company-sponsored channels on video sites such as YouTube, online social games, corporate blogs (on their own sites), private online communities for consumers, or mobile applications that consumers can download on their smartphones.
- Which of those social platforms are most and least important for success with social media?
- On which of the public social networks do companies have company pages – Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? Google+? Others?
On the issue of social media platforms, company pages on public social networking sites were the most popular globally and by region. (See the following five exhibits.) Corporate blogs were second across the regions, followed closely by mobile apps. At the bottom of this list of six platforms were online social games.
Exhibit II-35: Which Social Media Platforms are Used the Most (Global)
Exhibit II-36: Which Social Media Platforms are Used the Most in North America
Exhibit II-37: Which Social Media Platforms are Used the Most in Europe
Exhibit II-38: Which Social Media Platforms are Used the Most in Asia-Pacific
Exhibit II-39: Which Social Media Platforms are Used the Most in Latin America
But which of these six platforms are most important for success with social media? (See Exhibit II-40) Surprisingly, the platform used the least (mobile apps) was rated the most important across the regions. It was ranked first for North American and Asia-Pacific respondents. (See Exhibit II-41) Next in rank across all respondents were company pages on public social networks, and close behind were private online communities for consumers where companies have the most control over the conversation (since the companies host and run their communities).
Exhibit II-40: Which Social Media Platforms are Most Important to Social Media Success?
Exhibit II-41: Most Important Social Media Platforms by Region
Across the four regions, 88% of respondents said their companies have pages on public social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. ( See Exhibit II-42) Of the 88%, by far the most popular social site on which to have company pages is Facebook (the choice of 88% of these respondents). That was followed by Twitter (63%), LinkedIn (57%) and YouTube, the online video channel (with 45%).
A number of sites housed public social pages of no more than a third of the respondents: Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, MySpace, Flickr and Friendster.
By region (see Exhibit II-43), Facebook had the highest percentage of respondents’ company pages. Next (in three of the four regions) was Twitter. Google+ was the fifth most popular site for company social media pages – except in Latin America, where it is No. 3.
Exhibit II-42: Which Public Social Networking Sites to Companies Have Pages?
Exhibit II-43: Top Five Public Social Networking Sites for Company Pages (by Region)
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