Using Social Media for B2B Marketing [STUDY]

Perhaps you recall reading an earlier post about the marketer’s perspective on social media. Here we gave you an inside look as to how internet marketers view the social media scene for business-to-consumer marketing. Now courtesy of social media examiner, more than 1,900 business-to-business (B2B) marketers has given us further insight into how they’re utilizing social media for their campaigns. In this post I will focus on the different experiences B2B marketers encounter when running their campaigns, as opposed to a consumer-driven focus.

In terms of how confident B2B marketers are in social media for expanding the reach of their business, more than 93% are using it to market their business, a 5% increase from 2010. When it comes to experience it was stated that, “B2B marketers bring more long-term experience to social media marketing than B2C, but lag behind slightly in the 1-to 3-year category.” When asked what results social media has brought to their B2B marketing campaigns, over 56% stated they acquired new business partnerships, 60% saw improved search rankings, and B2B marketers are more able to gather marketplace insights from their social efforts, when compared to B2C. In this area it is important to note that only 53% of B2B marketers found social media helping to develop a loyal fan base; an area where B2C marketers rely heavily on social media for. Also note that there was no mention of a correlation between social media and increased sales. This is due mainly in part to businesses not knowing how to measure their efforts, and therefore not given the opportunity to see results from their campaign.

When it comes to which tools B2B marketers are utilizing, the results were higher with using Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and Google+ when compared to B2C marketers. 82% responded with using Facebook, compared to 96% of B2C marketers using the platform giant. We all know Facebook and its extremely high impact it can have on consumers, but these numbers infer that experienced marketers really understand where their target audience spends their time.

Where did the time go? B2B marketers are far more likely to increase their use of LinkedIn and invest more time in blogging when compared to B2C marketers. And what do B2B marketing companies want to learn more about in the social media world? Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter (and it that order). 77% of B2B marketers are interested in learning how to measure the effectiveness of social media, 72% in how to convert activities to sales, and 69% are interested in discovering the best social media tactics. In the future, B2B marketers plan to increase their use of SEO, event marketing, and e-mail.  Will your B2B marketing company be doing the same?

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