While B2B marketers lagged behind their B2C counterparts in the use of social media, this gap is now narrowing and social marketing has taken over a large majority of all industries. 93 percent of the B2B marketers who participated in the survey leading to the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report used social media for their marketing activities. The corresponding figure for the 2010 survey was only 88 percent.
The reason for the growing acceptance is because marketing through social media delivers results. Over 56 percent of B2B marketers acquired new business partnerships through social media, whereas only 45 percent of B2C marketers could do so.
Adoption of social media has also brought in many other indirect benefits. Social media has resulted in improved search rankings for 60 percent of the B2B marketers, and 69 percent of them were able to gain better marketplace insights by engaging in social media.
Facebook remains the dominant social media channel used by both B2B and B2C marketers. 96 percent of B2C marketers use Facebook whereas 87 percent of B2B marketers use Facebook. Among the other channels, LinkedIn follows close behind with 86.6% of B2B marketers embracing this channel. Twitter, patronized by 84% of B2B marketers takes the third spot. B2B marketers also use blogs (65% and Google+ (44%) extensively.
However, amidst this increasing acceptance, 20 percent of the businesses surveyed do not see a direct correlation between social media success and increased sales. The distortion here could be the method of measurement. Businesses will not know if social media efforts bring in financial success unless they know how to measure the same. Thus, good analytics and measurement tool becomes just as important as social media engagement.
The report confirms that the number one question marketers are looking to answer is how to measure the impact of social on their business. To that end Right On Interactive has recently rolled out a series of social media integration with the express intent of helping marketers to do just that. Take a look at this recent post by Right On Interactive’s CTO, Amol Dalvi, to learn more about our Twitter integration.