B2B companies are catching on to the potential power of social media marketing—but when it comes to how they actually use various social channels, the results might just surprise you.
After all, social media is widely recognized as an effective way to boost brand awareness, for example. But what about other B2B marketing goals like lead generation or market perception? According to an Eloqua survey of more than 500 UK B2B marketers, less than a third (32%) said they use social media for lead generation—and only 16% use it to assess market perception of their brand.
An Eloqua infographic outlines the survey findings. Some of the stats we found most intriguing include:
- Nearly 40% of companies aren’t yet tapping into the full marketing potential of social media.
- The top three reasons for social media use include creating awareness (83%), encouraging social sharing (56%) and gaining trust and followers (55%).
- Reasons that contribute to a lack of demand generation strategy in social media use include no strategy in place (43%), the company is unclear of the value (33%), it’s not applicable (25%) or not having tools available (18%).
- Companies plan to use social media in the future for several strategic goals, including better understanding market perception (17%), creating an outbound channel for demand generation (16%), creating company/brand awareness (14%), segmenting or scoring leads through social activities and demographics (13%) and broadening reach by encouraging social sharing (11%).
Not only does the Eloqua report provide a deeper look at how B2B companies use social media (and the challenges they face)—it also recommends several actionable takeaways that B2B companies should not only consider, but implement. And as we looked through the list, we couldn’t agree more—they’re all things we discuss with and recommend to our clients on a daily basis.
Most importantly? Don’t confine your social media strategy to one department. No matter your company’s individual digital marketing goals, your social media marketing strategy should be a part of your overall integrated marketing strategy. And that means more than the marketing or PR team being involved in social media. It means that social includes your sales teams, your customer service teams and your product development teams. After all, every department and every employee contributes to a company’s overall success—so doesn’t it only make sense that they’re aware of (and better yet, invested in) your company’s social media presence and contributing in some way strategically? Employees can be some of your biggest brand advocates and also be a powerful source of content and ideas, so don’t hesitate to break your social media strategy out of its silo and make it a company-wide initiative.
Another important tip? As you implement your strategy across various channels, keep a close eye on your analytics. We talk about the importance of data a lot—and it’s something that can’t be discussed enough. Data shows you exactly what’s working (and what’s not) and can help you better understand your audience, too. With the wealth of analytics and marketing reports available, there’s no reason not to put these tools to work for you so you can not only measure the efficacy of your strategy, but also refine it so that it’s even more successful.
What are your thoughts on Eloqua’s report? Do the statistics mirror your own experience with B2B social media use?
Image by jeff_w_brooktree via Creative Commons