As we get set to usher in 2012, it is worth taking a few minutes to look back on the year that was 2011, seeing what transpired in the world of B2B social media marketing.
For starters, a number of surveys pointed out that more and more B2B marketers planned to and did incorporate additional social media efforts into their online marketing campaigns over the last 12 months.
According to a mid-year survey from iTracks, close to 90 percent of domestic B2B companies were incorporating social media marketing into their game plans. Sagefrog Marketing Group reported over the summer that close to 60 percent of national B2B marketers would identify themselves as LinkedIn users, 50 percent Facebook users and nearly 45 percent Twitter aficionados.
Among findings from a Social Media Examiner study of more than 3,300 marketers:
- Ninety percent of marketers reported that social media is critical for their business;
- One-third of all social media marketers want to understand how to oversee and measure the return on investment (ROI) of social media and integrate their social media activities;
- A majority of marketers (58%) are using social media for 6 hours or more on a weekly basis, and more than a third (34%) invest 11 or more hours each week;
- Just 28 percent of companies are outsourcing some degree of their social media marketing.
Meantime, a BtoB Magazine report stated that 93 percent of all B2B marketers took part in 2011 in some manner of social media marketing, the majority of who concentrate their efforts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
That being said, more than two-thirds (70 percent) of B2B marketers claimed a shortage of resources was their greatest challenge to successfully integrating social media into their 2011 marketing campaigns. Marketers also reported ill-informed success metrics and critical performance indicators (57%), lack of depth regarding social media (44%) and management resistance (22%) as challenges they have faced this year. Maybe the most tell all stat was that close to three-fourths of those surveyed said they fail to measure the ROI in their social marketing programs.
As you go into 2012, stop and think about the impact a well-designed social media campaign can have on your B2B marketing efforts.
Odds are your business has regular contact with potential customers numerous times in trying to educate them on what your company has to offer. With a well-structured social media program, your business can interact with the potential client and nurture those interactions, making them more inclined to go with you at the time of purchase.
If you are still skeptical as to whether or not your B2B marketing campaigns should be employing more and not less social media, take note that Forrester Research forecasts B2B companies will allocate $54 million towards social media marketing in 2014, an increase of more than $40 million from as recently as 2009.
Still think the social media marketing world doesn't have room to grow?
Tell us how you incorporated social media into your B2B marketing plan over the last 12 months.
Photo credit: mltcreative.com