BtoB magazine’s “2010 Outlook” indicates social media marketing will be of rising importance for business-to-business (B2B) marketers.
Website, e-mail and search spending were at the top of the list for online tactics to increase, but social media was not far behind. Six in 10 B2B marketers planned to up spending on social in 2010.
Fifty-four percent of respondents currently use social media for marketing. That was up 9 percentage points from November 2008 and about 4 points from June 2009, showing a steady increase in B2B participation.
Among B2B social network marketers, thought leadership was the main purpose, though about one-half hoped to generate leads through social media.
Those responses were similar to June’s, though fewer marketers in November hoped to do much research or advertising on social networks.
B2B respondents to a survey by Visible Technologies and SiriusDecisions had somewhat different priorities: The top way they leveraged social media was for generating awareness, followed by customer engagement.
About one-third of respondents to the Visible Technologies/SiriusDecisions study had created a customer community, while one-fifth used podcasts. Slightly fewer (18%) relied on blogs, and only 14% were tweeting. Success in the social channel was mainly measured through Web traffic and response rates and qualified leads.
Most B2B marketers reported tracking results themselves, either manually or with a monitoring tool. One-fifth relied on an agency for metrics, while 21% reported not tracking their success at all.
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