BtoB Magazine surveyed 550 American executives of companies of all sizes, across various industry segments for a study titled “Emerging Trends in B-to-B Social Media Marketing: Insights From the Field”. Carried out in April 2011, the study demonstrates how B2B marketers are taking advantage of social media in their marketing mix. Here are some highlights.
B2B marketers use the most popular channels
When asked “Which of the following social media methods does your company currently use for your B2B marketing?” Respondents answered in order of importance LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter followed by YouTube and Blogging.
Marketers say different goals call for different social media
The study also shows that marketers use different social media according to their different objectives. They use:
- LinkedIn for lead generation and web traffic
- Facebook for branding and promotion
- Twitter for short and concise promos, social buzz and to see who’s talking about them
- YouTube for video education, demonstration, support and training
- Blogging for SEO and business written content
B2B marketing’s preferred social media
According to the survey, when asked which social media they fancied, most of B2B marketers answered LinkedIn. Others chose Facebook, blogging, online communities and Twitter. It is interesting to read that “Facebook was cited as being a channel where users “pay attention”, while blogs and communities were cited for their customer feedback and engagement. According to survey participants, many marketers only see Twitter as a way to support website traffic and product/event promotions.”
But reality is what it is. Social media marketing is not about technology, it’s about people interacting together and taking time to produce content to reach markets.
That’s why, without any surprise, the study indicates that the major obstacles to social media marketing adoption are:
- lack of resources
- poorly defined success metrics and key performance indicators
- lack of knowledge about social media
- management resistance
I want to point out that “lack of measurement and key performance indicators” is a very important element. According to the study, approximately 75% of B2B marketers who conduct social marketing say they do not measure the ROI of their social marketing programs. To my interpretation, this indicates a reactive approach to social media marketing and a lack of knowledge about social media and – more importantly – their target audience. This is strategically important if one wants to execute proper social media marketing.
Social media marketing, while being a component of integrated marketing, has to be considered within a global B2B marketing strategy.
As the study indicates, B2B marketers have “lack of resources” for largest obstacle to execute proper social media marketing followed by “poorly defined metrics and key performance indicators”, which indicate a lack of knowledge and integration of social media marketing.
That is why getting support from or even outsourcing social media marketing to integrated marketing specialists is to be considered. Exo Integrated B2B Marketing has in-house expertise and know-how to bring you from strategy to execution with social media marketing and the other aspects of your B2B marketing. So let’s get social. Let’s talk and see how we can help!