Social Media Marketing

Can B2Bs Use Social Media to Improve Marketing Effectiveness?

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Have you ever stopped to think which segment of marketers hold the bag on marketing effectiveness when it comes to social media?  Many might think that B2Cs clearly leverage social better than B2Bs.  However, the numbers show that B2Bs are making up ground.

A study by Accenture found that while B2Bs lag in integrating social media into marketing plans, they are realizing the value of social media use.  Nearly two thirds of marketing execs questioned said they believe social media is an important way to reach customers.

Even though there hasn’t been a huge explosion in social use with B2Bs, the trend toward using the channels more actively proves that marketers will need to acquire tools and technology to successfully leverage a social media strategy.

For those B2B marketers trying to find their footing on the social landscape, there a number of sign posts showing why B2Bs should be turning to social for lead generation success.

1. The Top 4 Social Channels Are Getting B2B Action

A 2011 Worldcom Public Relations Group study showed B2Bs are extending their reach to the major social media channels.  The numbers show how the top channels fared:

  • Twitter 85%
  • Facebook 74%
  • LinkedIn 72%
  • Youtube 69%
  • Corporate Blogs 60%

83% of those surveyed said they use social media to communicate with target audiences and while B2Cs use social to generate sales, not surprisingly, B2Bs focus on lead generation.

2. B2B Use of Social Media Will Grow In 2012

Nearly 90% of the execs surveyed in the Worldcom study said they believe social media will be increasingly valuable to their companies in the coming year and almost 60% called that value significant.

The thing to watch in the next 12 months is how well B2B marketers create a holistic approach combining their new social tactics with the tried and true strategies of SEO.

3. Small And Large B2Bs Are More Social

The Worldcom study also unearthed some interesting statistics on which B2Bs are leveraging social more.  88% of large companies (over $1 billion) and 80% of smaller B2Bs (under $50 million) engage in social media and while 68% of all companies intend to increase their social spending, only 46% of mid-sized businesses plan to follow suit.

Overall these numbers show that B2B marketers are figuring out how social can build their marketing effectiveness but many still have to overcome lack of management support and clarify which strategic combinations work best when it comes to merely having a social presence versus pursuing customer engagement and integrating paid media.

Does your usage of social align with the survey results?  Need help with your B2B social strategy? Download the Definitive Guide to B2B Social Media.