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Social Media Proves Value, Gets Budgets

Many still struggle with how exactly to measure and attribute success

September 17, 2012

Budgets for social media marketing are on the rise, with both B2B and B2C marketers proving they have generated leads and sales from their social outreach.

In its “State of Digital Marketing 2012 Report,” Webmarketing123 found that 52% of US B2C marketers and 41% of US B2B marketers planned to increase their social marketing budgets in 2013, while an additional 46% of B2C and 56% of B2B marketers will keep them the same.

Facebook was the most popular site for B2C marketers, with 65% reporting that they spent money there. Only 40% of B2B marketers said the same of Facebook. However, 39% of B2B marketers spent money on LinkedIn, compared to only 23% of B2C marketers. Greater percentages of B2C marketers were using Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest than were B2B marketers. However, the difference for Google+, which has been popular for technology conversations in particular, was only 3 percentage points.

Select Social Media Sites on Which US B2B and B2C Marketers Have Spent Money, by Site, July 2012 (% of respondents)

These investments in social sites are showing results. Two-thirds of B2C marketers (67%) said they had generated leads from Facebook, and 39% said they saw sales as a result of outreach on the site. This was compared to 39% of B2B marketers who reported leads and 19% who reported sales. For B2B marketers, not surprisingly, LinkedIn saw the most success, with 44% of marketers seeing leads and 23% seeing sales from the site.

US B2B and B2C Marketers Who Have Generated Leads or Sales from Social Media, by Site, July 2012 (% of respondents)

Corresponding with other recent studies, the report also found that a percentage of marketers were still unsure if social media was contributing to leads (20%) and sales (40%). In order to continue receiving budget approval for social, however, marketers must prove their outreach is producing results, and many will experiment with different metrics and measurement tactics to do so.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Are Marketers Wasting Money on Mobile Ad Clicks?” and “Vietnam Tops Online Video Viewing Penetration in Asia-Pacific.”


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