Despite social media marketing’s popularity, business-to-business (B2B) companies are still fairly new to it. According to a survey from Business.com, 73% of B2B respondents have less than two years of social media marketing experience.
March 2010 research from marketing automation firm Genius.com and BtoB magazine found that about one-half of business-oriented marketers are staying away from social tools such as blogging and Twitter. Facebook was more popular, with nearly three-fifths participating, and business-focused social network LinkedIn was used by three-quarters of B2B marketers.
Both business-oriented social networks and general social networks offer B2B companies a variety of opportunities. They can improve communication between customers, prospects and suppliers; aid collaboration between business partners; help with product development; and identify leads.
B2B companies also have an advantage when using social media because they tend to focus on goals and results, such as leads, that visibly affect their bottom line.
Business.com found in 2009 that those B2B marketers who do use social media tend to do so more extensively than their business-to-consumer counterparts.
Those with at least one profile were more likely to manage a presence on several sites than the general B2B respondents to the Genius.com survey, and were more likely than B2C companies to measure their social success.
“While recent studies have shown that up to 90 percent of consumers are using social media to make their purchasing decisions, B2B marketers seem to be out of step and are using these tools much less frequently,” said the Genius.com report.
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