Social Media Platforms Overview

Part of our Social Media Best Practice Guide bundle, we’ve updated and refreshed this report for 2017 to reflect on the latest trends and to provide a snapshot of the major social media platforms and the most pressing considerations for marketers looking to generate the most value from social media, as well as what to consider when making the business case for social media platforms.

From Snapchat Lenses and Geofilters and authentic content such as Live Video to the opportunities of augemented reality and chatbots in social media, we’ve got the latest trends covered in this 2017 edition of Econsultancy’s social platforms overview. 

The report provides a summary of the main features of social media platforms, and outlines some of the options available to marketers when developing a paid, owned and earned strategic approach to social media marketing and communications.

Throughout the report, we bring you examples of how companies are using social media in different ways, as well as insights from companies interviewed specifically for this guide.

For more details on best practice approaches, techniques, challenges and opportunities for creating your social media strategy, read the complementary Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide.


The methodology involved two main phases:

  • Phase 1: Desk research to identify relevant issues, examples and models.
  • Phase 2: A series of in-depth interviews (20 interviews in total) with a range of senior digital and non-digital marketers, communications leads and social media strategists. Interviewees for the research covered sectors as diverse as aerospace, retail, hospitality, public sector (including government), SaaS, FMCG, non-profit, agency, financial services and media.

Lead author

The lead author for our social media best practice guides is Michelle Goodall, an experienced consultant. She has more than 17 years’ B2C and B2B experience client and agency-side, providing digital transformation and social media strategy advice and support.

She has worked with a wide range of clients, including London2012, BBC, Direct Line Group, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Barclays Bank, Coca Cola, Unilever, US Embassy, and many others.

Michelle is a trainer and consultant for Econsultancy and can generally be found curating things that smart people write / make / do and getting to grips with Peach and other peripheral / transformative / game-changing technologies for her clients.


The author and Econsultancy wish to extend sincere thanks to the following respected professionals who have contributed to the report:

  • Vikki Chowney – Director of Content & Publishing Strategies, H+K Strategies
  • Marisol Grandon – Head of Creative Content, The Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Will McInnes – Chief Marketing Officer, Brandwatch
  • Kerry Taylor – Senior Vice President Director of Television, MTV Networks
  • Tom Barker – Head of Digital, National Trust
  • Rachel Miller – CEO, IC Crowd
  • Stephen Waddington – Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum

Social Media Platforms Overview

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