How Are B2B Companies Using Social Media?

Author: Adi Gaskell
Published: November 12, 2012 at 11:07 am

social media for b2bWe know the power of social media in creating brand awareness, but are companies using it to drive demand generation as well? This 2012 survey by Eloqua investigated how B2B marketers use social media to promote, engage and sell.

Social media as a marketing tool

Only 64% of the UK companies surveyed use social media as a marketing tool, meaning that over a third (36%) do not. Within those companies, the PR/communications department is most often responsible for the social media strategy and output (in 26% of cases).

Interestingly, the next most common arrangement is for social media to be shared across different departments (23%), while only 11% of companies using social media marketing leave it under the control of the website team.

Companies cited three top reasons for using social media: creating brand awareness (83%), encouraging social sharing (56%) and gaining trust and followers (55%). Under a third (32%) said they use it for lead generation, while only 16% use social media to assess market perception of their brand.

The most popular social networks

B2B marketers clearly favour the ‘big three’ social networks as marketing tools. Those who use social media for demand generation, 80% use Facebook, 78% use Twitter and 51% use LinkedIn. The ‘professional social network’ trails behind despite figures suggesting that it is almost 300% more effective than Facebook and Twitter for lead generation. These findings differ from research earlier this year revealing that LinkedIn was far and away the most effective social network for B2B companies.

Demand and lead generation

Over half of B2B companies are not tapping into social media’s potential as a lead generation tool. When asked “Is your company using social media for demand generation?”, only 35% of respondents said yes. No was the answer from 53%, while 12% were unsure.

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About this article

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Article Author: Adi Gaskell

A writer on management issues for publications such as Professional Manager, CMI, HRM Today, Business Works and Technorati. I also cover social media for Social Media Today, DZone and Social Business News.

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