It will come as no surprise that social media is becoming an increasingly important component of most businesses’ marketing strategies, but just how many business-to-business (B2B) companies are taking advantage of the myriad opportunities provided by the different social platforms?
B2B and enterprise companies aren’t trying to attract millions of consumers as customers but instead need to persuade companies (smaller audience group but with much larger budgets than individual consumers) to purchase their products and services. So, social media’s power to spread a message across the web isn’t as relevant.
Still, social media has its place in the B2B marketplace. In fact, many B2B companies in a variety of industries find social media a powerful tool to establish thought leadership, to generate leads and perform market research.
Strategic America, as a partner in The WORLDCOM Public Relations Group, the leading global partnership of independently owned public relations and marketing firms, contributes to and has access to the latest research regarding B2B use of social media.
In a Worldcom poll of nearly 125 B2B company leaders in North America and Western Europe, the conclusion is that social media is now a key element to their brand presence and marketing endeavors.
Among the B2B leaders, their present usage and future spending shows that:
- 83% of the surveyed firms use social media to communicate with target audiences
- Close to 9 out of 10 agency execs believe social media will increase in value over the next year
- More than half of the firms will boost social media spending next year
- 85% of firms surveyed use Twitter
- 74% — Facebook
- 72%– LinkedIn
- 69% –– YouTube
- 60% — Blogs
Goals and reasons to use social media:
- Thought leadership – 30% in North America
- Engage new and existing clients – 31% and 25% respectively in Western Europe
- 31% of agencies in the US, Canada and Mexico favor Twitter
- 31% of agencies in Western Europe favor Facebook
- 9 out of 10 US firms use Twitter compared to 6 out of 10 European agencies .
- 80% use social media tools to interact with potential clients
- 76% work online to engage existing clients
- 60% log on to social networks to build extensions of their own company websites
- 58% use social media to communicate with journalists
- 50% use platforms for employee recruitment and alumni communications
Company size a factor?
- 80% of small companies (revenue ≤ $50 million) and 88% of large companies ($1 billion+) have used social media for more than one year
- 57% of mid-sized firms have been using social media for more than one year
Do these numbers look similar to those at your company? Do you plan to increase social media spending over the next year?
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Emily Drake, SA Public Relations Coordinator, contributed to this blog post.