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Facebook, LinkedIn Ads Deliver Best Value to B2B Social Marketers

Most B2B CMOs in the US are struggling to show the impact of social

November 8, 2016 | B2B

More than two-thirds of business-to-business (B2B) marketers worldwide devote dollars to social media advertising, according to September research. And among those who do, platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn appear to deliver the best ROI.

B2B Marketers Worldwide Whose Organization Invests in Social Media Advertising vs. Finds Select Platforms Effective*, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)

Marketing and technology services agency Regalix surveyed 342 B2B marketers from a variety of industries about their social media marketing objectives.

According to the data, 67% of respondents said they allocate budget to social media ads. And of those who said their businesses buy paid placements on social media, the majority (almost three-fifths) pointed to Facebook and LinkedIn as the platforms that gave the best return on those dollars. Meanwhile, Twitter and YouTube followed with 39% and 14% of social media advertisers, respectively.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Facebook’s effectiveness comes out on top for most social media marketers worldwide, not just B2B practitioners. In March, research from Social Fresh, Firebrand Group and Simply Measured revealed that 95.8% of these marketers said the platform produces the best ROI, ahead of Twitter (63.5%) and Instagram (40.7%).

It’s more surprising, however, to see B2Bs pointing Facebook’s way when questioned about effectiveness. Earlier research, including 2015 data from Regalix, suggested B2B marketers were happiest with LinkedIn, and put Facebook toward the bottom of their list.

Despite the fact the social media ad spending is growing (in North America, eMarketer is forecasting that it will make up 20% of digital ad spending by 2017), many marketers are still trying to evaluate its effectiveness. In another study from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, released in August, almost half of US CMOs in the B2B sector said they haven’t been able to show the impact of social media. And due to this, many are ramping up investment in marketing analytics.

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