Last month the #PRStudChat Community had a really great discussion with the authors of Social Marketing to the Business Customer, Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman. Our discussion included: the major differences between B2B and B2C social marketing, the best ways for B2B brands to use social media and how these brands should determine the right platforms for B2B social marketing.
To further the #PRStudChat discussion on B2B social marketing, I want to share the information I received from the Worldcom Public Relations Group regarding a study they conducted with B2B companies surveying their social media practices in 2011. The study was conducted using 100 businesses, with approximately 54% of them planning to increase their spending on social media this year.
Here are several of the interesting findings from the Worldcom survey:
- Twitter was the most popular channel, used by 85 percent of global respondents, followed by Facebook (74%), LinkedIn (72%), You Tube (69%) and corporate blogs (60%)
- Approximately 83% of the respondents are using social media to communicate with target audiences, with about 66% doing so, for more than a year
- Approximately 89% of the executives from these B2B companies believe social media will increase in value for their companies over the next year, and 58% expect the increase to be significant
- When comparing companies by revenue breakdown, 80 percent of the small B2B companies (under $50 million) and 88 percent of the large B2B companies (over $1 billion) surfaced as the social media leaders, using social media for over a year
- Mid-sized B2B companies are still grappling with the role social media will play in their communication and business development strategies, with only 46 percent of these companies planning to increase social media spending this year, as compared to 68 percent of the small companies surveyed
It was also interesting to learn from the study that North American B2B companies use social media to communicate thought leadership, more than European companies, which primarily use social media to engage with customers and prospects.
Overall the Worldcom survey reveals that B2B companies are recognizing the growing importance of social media, with the expectation that budgets will increase in 2011.