When Pardot conducted our survey of B2B marketers, we had several goals in mind. One, as previously discussed, was to determine how many B2B marketers were utilizing and measuring social media marketing efforts. But we also hoped to gather information on a more subjective topic: social media etiquette. 

In today’s increasingly social world, social media has undeniably become an integral part of the business-to-business marketing process, but an across-the-board standard for appropriate interaction through social channels does not seem to exist. Only 12% of marketers surveyed said that their company has a formal social media policy in place, and there appear to be some discrepancies as to how a social media policy should look.

  • Slightly more than half of those surveyed believe it is acceptable to contact to a prospect generated by social media exchange by phone or email, even if the prospect has not invited this form of communication
  • Slightly less than half believe that you should reach out via social media to a prospect that has contacted the company through phone or email
  • About one-third of marketers said it is acceptable to critique a competitor through a social media outlet
  • Around 25% of that majority suggested social media connections be limited to more professionally-oriented outlets including Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube while refraining from using networks like Facebook
For more thoughts on social media etiquette, be sure to check out this article by Pardot marketing manager Laura Horton, published by VentureBeat earlier this year.

Molly Hoffmeister

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3 responses to B2B Social Media Marketing: Etiquette in the Social Space

  1. I’d say spot on, Molly! I think I’ve heard of it as ‘relationship marketing’ and it’s like going back to the basics, and relearning the art of proper conversation on the Social Web. It’s quite alarming, if only 12% of the marketers you surveyed said they have a formal social media policy in place, as this spells trouble. On the matter of marketing on Facebook, a famous social media key influencer has said that it’s great for connecting with friends, family.. not businesses, and you’re better off in another competing, new social networking site if you’re serious about connecting with qualified leads. Do you think this is true? Thanks for sharing the links to the findings anyway; I find it intriguing..

  2. Molly Hoffmeister December 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Aaron,

    Thanks for your reply! Great point about Facebook. This is exactly how we recommend our clients treat Facebook: as more of a personal tool. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a Facebook page for your business — this gives your clients/prospects the opportunity to opt in to communicating with you via Facebook if they’d like to, plus it’s a great place to post photos from events and show off your corporate culture. But for the most part, when it comes to marketing your business to prospects, outlets such as Twitter and LinkedIn tend to be more appropriate.

    Thanks for bringing this up!