NFPA Members Warm Up to Social Media

Last week I analyzed what the results of the 2015 Communications Survey said about members’ news preferences. This week I tackle the social media portion of the survey. As many of you may know, NFPA is on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

In previous years, we would ask whether companies used social media, and the number of companies using social media steadily went up over the years. Now it’s assumed the majority of our member companies have some sort of social media presence. This year, we asked about both company and personal use of social media.

Company Social Media Use

Social Media Importance

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When asked about the place social media has in company marketing communications, most survey respondents said it was somewhat important to strategy at about 43 percent. Around 22 percent of respondents said it was very important, and only about 18 percent said it was not at all important, meaning that social media has its place in fluid power marketing but other methods are still more important. Compared to 2014, more members consider social media to be important to marketing strategy and about the same say it is not at all important.

As far as the purpose of company social media efforts, attracting new and retaining existing customers were most important, followed by product promotion and support. Recruiting employees was the least important purpose.

In terms of the successful use of each platform, most felt somewhat successful across the board. Most doubts surrounded Google+ and Twitter while respondents were most confident in their use of LinkedIn and YouTube. Compared to last year, respondents are overall more confident in their company’s social media success and are using more platforms.

Social Media Success 2014

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Social Media Success 2015

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Personal Social Media Use

For the first time this year, we asked about personal social media use. Measuring how often respondents reported using each platform, we found that almost half never use Google+ and over half never use Twitter. LinkedIn and YouTube were the most-used platforms with more than three-quarters of respondents using them, although most use them only sometimes.

When asked about the usefulness of NFPA social media communications, the pattern wasn’t surprising based on other survey questions. Many respondents admitted that they don’t follow NFPA on social media. However, more than half of respondents found our LinkedIn and YouTube content to have some value. The general attitudes already shown toward Twitter, one of the least used and least successful platforms among respondents, showed up again here with just over 30 percent of respondents finding value in our tweets and more than half not following them.

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