Survey Results: How B2B Marketers Use Social Media

It’s blogged about, it’s tweeted about, it’s the subject of podcasts and webinars–there’s no question that the usage of social media as a marketing tool for B2B marketers is a hot topic. B2B marketing is no longer limited to white papers and ebooks, and prospective buyers are increasingly turning to social media outlets to research their purchases (see this Marketing Pilgrim article for some interesting statistics on this topic). In turn, marketers must use social marketing to create a sense of community, engage potential customers and generate leads.

But how are business-to-business marketers treating this relatively new approach to marketing their product? Pardot recently conducted a survey of B2B marketers with this question in mind, and results revealed an interesting trend: while B2B marketers are investing significant time and money on social media efforts, over one-third are not monitoring their results.

Each survey respondent reported using multiple social media channels – 65% maintained more than five separate accounts, with several businesses managing eight or nine – and over half of the respondents were allocating at least a portion of their marketing budget to social media efforts (the majority reported spending 1-10%). But despite investing these valuable resources in social marketing, many are not tracking the results of their efforts and tailoring campaigns accordingly.

Of those respondents that did measure and evaluate their social media campaigns, approximately 58% found that up to 10% of their leads came from social media outlets. About 12% gathered more than 10% of their leads through social marketing, with several companies obtaining up to 50% from this source– pretty impressive numbers for a relatively inexpensive form of marketing. For the over 40% of marketers who were either not utilizing or not tracking this source of lead generation, this form of marketing may be worth a second look.

Other significant findings from the survey included:

  • 20% of respondents said they employ a dedicated team member for social media efforts
  • A full 95% of respondents indicated they use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or corporate blogs to reach prospects
  • For lead generation, LinkedIn proved to be the most effective social media outlet, followed closely by blogging