It’s an open secret that Facebook has taken the world of B2C marketing by storm. Twitter and LinkedIn have gained popularity as valuable B2C marketing tools as well. However, social media critics often point out that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are effective mediums for B2C marketing. I’ve always rubbished those claims and my theory is supported by the recently launched BtoB’s exclusive research study that focuses on how b2b marketers are leveraging social media.
BtoB Research Findings
The BtoB research indicates that 93% of b2b marketers now engage in social media marketing. Nearly 26% of respondents to BtoB’s survey cited LinkedIn as their most important social channel, followed by Facebook (20%), blogging (19%), customer communities (14%) and YouTube (7%).
The research report highlights B2B marketers social media is extremely useful in supporting branding efforts, although different channels are considered to have their own unique strengths. There’s no one size fits all approach and marketers use the best suited tools for specific needs.
- LinkedIn was the most popular lead generation tool amongst B2B marketers
- Facebook was considered strong in promoting products and events
- Twitter is considered suitable for its website traffic-building qualities.
More importantly, the research report indicates it’s important to establish well defined metrics to measure the impact of social media on B2B marketing efforts. Apart from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, the report mentions YouTube, blogging, customer communities, Flickr, Digg, Stumbleupon and Tumblr as other popular social channels for B2B marketing.
I’m glad that the BtoB report is not a “please all” one-dimensional report. It highlights that lack of resources is still considered to be the major hindrance for implementing a social media marketing program. The report suggest other obstacles to social media use in B2B marketing include poorly defined success metrics and key performance indicators (57%), lack of knowledge about social media (44%) and management resistance (22%).
LinkedIn Rules The B2B World!
Though Facebook is all the rage amongst B2C marketers, the BtoB report reaffirms LinkedIn’s numero uno status in the B2B marketing world. LinkedIn continues to be the preferred way to reach social media-savvy customers who want to network with other customers, so they are more active in business community.
Twitter is used more as a real time push model to distribute company and product news, there by supporting press release activities and customer newsletters. The report also silences Facebook critics who claim the world’s leading social network as overtly oriented toward family and friends. The report suggests people seem to spend more time on Facebook because it’s a little more clean and controllable – I don’t necessarily agree with that but I do believe it’s an invaluable marketing tool for both B2B and B2C segments.
Does your business use social media for B2B marketing? If so, do you use LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.