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The 2024 State of the Media Report

Get actionable insight from 3,000+ journalists on what they truly want and need from PR teams.

How PR and Comms Teams are Rethinking Their Social Media Strategies

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In today's fast-paced world of public relations and communications, staying ahead of the curve is essential. The 2024 Global Comms Report offers crucial insight into how PR and comms teams worldwide are keeping up in an increasingly complex, increasingly demanding role. A collaboration of Cision and PRWeek, the report includes feedback and perspectives from over 400 leadership-level communications and PR teams across the U.S., Europe, and APAC. 

Among the biggest topics we explored this year was how communication teams worldwide are reshaping their social media strategies.

The report reveals a dynamic shift in the social media landscape. New platforms are emerging, each boasting unique features and audience demographics, giving both communications teams and the audiences they hope to reach more options than ever in how they spend their time and energy. While it is common and even recommended for PR and comms teams to have a multi-platform strategy, with so many platforms to choose from now, comms teams need to be strategic about where they focus their efforts and what they hope to get out of them.

For this year’s Global Comms Report, we asked communications leaders to weigh in on the social media platforms they are investing in now, where they plan to invest in the future, and how they are measuring success. Let’s explore the findings and what you can take away from them to apply to your own PR social media strategy.

Social Media Platform Popularity By Region

A key finding of the report is that most communications leaders (53%) are relying on social media as a communications tactic more this year than they have in the past. That is on a global level. When comparing by region, the numbers are similar, with 56% of U.S. teams relying on it more, followed by 53% in Europe, and 49% in APAC. 

When it comes to which specific social media platforms communications teams are relying on for their strategies, preferences seem to vary by region. In the U.S., LinkedIn is the most utilized social media platform among comms teams, and in Europe and APAC, Facebook is number one. This variation underscores the need for localized strategies that consider the unique preferences and behaviors of audiences in specific regions, especially for global brands aiming to connect with diverse audiences.Most utlized social media platforms ranked for U.S., Europe, and APAC

Emerging Platforms and Influencer Evolution 

While established platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter) remain relevant, the report reveals a growing interest in new and emerging social media platforms among communications professionals.  Among these lesser-known platforms, Threads leads in adoption among comms teams (31%) on a global level, followed by BeReal (22%), and (20%). However, adoption varies notably by region – even more so than for established platforms.  

For example, as shown the chart below, 52% of comms teams in Europe are already active in BeReal, but in APAC, it’s 29%, and in the U.S., only 7%. The findings are similar for, where 51% of European teams are using it, 31% in APAC, and a mere 3% in the U.S. Overall, the U.S. lags far behind APAC (and often Europe, too) in adoption of smaller, new, and emerging social media platforms, such as Gowalla, Lemon8, and Damos, to name a few. 

Emerging social platforms by region

These smaller platforms can be untapped opportunities for brands to be early adopters and engage on a more personalized level with consumers. They also don’t have as much “noise” to compete with for audience attention. It’s worth noting, however, that these platforms may lack the capabilities to draw insights, making it harder to prove impact. 

As Sarah O’Grady, SVP of Cision and Brandwatch, points out in the report, “Newer platforms often lack APIs and functionality to listen, gather insights and measure conversation, which makes it hard to quantify.” For teams considering making a new platform part of your strategy, consider the business rationale first and how you will measure success before you commit resources to it.

The report also shows a shift toward comms teams favoring more authentic and niche influencers over more “traditional” influencers like celebrities. "Everyday consumers" and "niche or micro-influencers" are now among the most impactful types of influencers, outperforming celebrities in terms of affecting consumer behavior. Comms teams are leveraging these influencers to resonate with specific audience groups, thereby enhancing credibility and relatability.

Globally, 57% of respondents ranked "everyday consumers" as the most effective at impacting consumer behavior, with "corporate executives" and "employees" following at 44%. Interestingly, "niche or micro-influencers" were identified by 42% of respondents globally as being in the top three for effectiveness.

Measuring Success with Social Media: A Universal Challenge

A key finding in the report highlights the increased focus on data-driven decision-making: 42% of comms teams say they are relying on data more this year to inform their strategies – up remarkably from 30% who said the same last year. By leveraging analytics, comms teams can measure campaign effectiveness, tailor messages, and optimize their social media presence, leading to more adaptable and well-informed strategies.

Of course, it is one thing to understand the importance of data and another thing to be able to pull the right data and make sense of it. The report also shows that 18% of comms leaders worldwide are unsure of the quality of trustworthiness of the data they have available when it comes to social media. For now, however, they are relying on metrics like shares, comments, likes and followers as indicators of success.

Measures of success with regional ranking

Next Steps: Actionable Insights for PR Professionals  

The 2024 Global Comms Report illuminates the changing landscape of social media in PR and communications. The social media world is constantly changing, and understanding the social media platforms that are proving successful for other PR teams and incorporating those into your strategy can help guide your team to success.  These findings also shed light on the ongoing struggle many teams have to derive insights that prove the value of their social media efforts and inform strategic decisions.

For more insights into best practices from comms teams around the world, download the full 2024 Global Comms Report.

If you’re looking for a better way to shape your social media strategy, consider working with an all-in-one monitoring platform like CisionOne. CisionOne’s social listening capabilities make it easy to track and understand who’s talking about your brand, what they’re saying about it, and the sentiment behind it. It can also help you identify key influencers to connect with, amplify your message on social media, and manage your overall strategy. 

Take a tour of CisionOne today or schedule time to speak with an expert.

About Michaela Enmark
About Michaela Enmark

Michaela Enmark is a Global Content Marketing Manager for Cision with a background in both journalism and media database research.