Byfield’s survey shows social media may rule the roost, but content is her consort.

One of our recent polls asked our clients which communication channel was their firm’s priority for 2021; and the results have stated conclusively that Social Media (59%) is the most important form of communication, by a substantial margin.

This is unsurprising to many in the communications sector who are increasingly seeing social media become the de facto comms outlet – outperforming traditional media relations (14%) and web content such as blogs and thought leadership (18%). The reasons behind this are myriad.

Social media allows for greater interaction with your audience; creates a network for lead-generation; provides insightful analysis on your audience; and can even be used to communicate pitches to hard-to-reach targets. Social media is also personable in a way that other content outlets are often not.

Despite B2B firms being initially slow on the uptake, a decade after the social revolution firms have come to rely on the incredible value of social media as a connector of people, and in many cases have become entirely focused on it as the foundation of a communications strategy.

Social media is undoubtedly one of the most potent weapons in any firm’s arsenal, but something that firms must remember is that social media is at its best when used in conjunction with a well-rounded comms strategy, and used as a promotional channel for other forms of digital content.

Without strong web content designed to provide deeper insight, or to form the foundation of a business, social media can feel toothless and hollow. Similarly, a social media feed that promotes itself without having any press presence can appear unsubstantiated or over-promotional.

A strong social media presence needs to be viewed as a useful means, and not an end unto itself. A social feed is at its best when it acts as a conduit to support a firm’s other communications strategy, either by sharing thought leadership articles, or by promoting press office wins. These uses of social media create an environment in which your other forms of content can be promoted and utilised to their fullest extent. As Johnny Shearman (Head of Knowledge & Legal Services at Signature Litigation) succinctly put it in the comments of our survey post: “For me, what’s key is getting the most out of the content created”.