BtoB Magazine Releases New Research Report: 2012 B2B Social Media Marketing: A Surge in Adoption

Survey Shows Surge in Adoption of Social Media by B2B MarketersrnNew research from BtoB Magazine underscores significant opportunities for B2B marketers as social media acceptance has moved from an emerging market to a market majority.

Online PR News – 21-May-2012 – New York, NY – New York City -- BtoB (www.btobonline.com) today shared results of a comprehensive survey of business-to-business (B2B) marketers across the U.S. in the Report “B2B Social Media Marketing: A Surge in Adoption.” The data, based on more than 600 interviews with B2B marketers, depicts a vivid arc of history for the current generation of social media technology moving from nascent to mainstream with no less force than the personal computer and the Internet in the prior decades. The report highlights a number of specific opportunities for marketers to increase the sophistication of their programs in 2012 using social media techniques—including social media paid advertising.

Key conclusions from the survey include:

(1) LinkedIn is considered by marketers to be the most important social media platform.

When asked the most important social media marketing platform, 30 percent reported LinkedIn overall other platforms. Blogging was reported second, with 20 percent, and Facebook was reported third, with 19 percent. The popularity of platforms drops off precipitously after Twitter with 16 percent to YouTube (8 percent) and a distant usage of Google+ (1%). Interestingly, in this brand dominated and highly volatile market –blogging persists in appeal.

(2) 35 percent of B2B marketers have joined the ranks of those using social media in just the last two years alone.

The data shows that the average B2B marketer has 23 months experience with social media marketing at their organization. Only 13 percent of marketers report using social media marketing for more than 4 years. This is a highly significant finding because it points to how much of the application of this platform is still untapped by the market. Moreover, when marketers engage with social media marketing the survey shows that they take a very short time –13 months—to effectively leverage the channel.

(3) Social media marketing is a proven channel for branding.

The Research underscores that social media marketing is used for a wide range of applications ranging from website traffic building, event promotion, lead generation, to product development and competitive intelligence. However, by a wide margin, social media is most effective at branding. Fully 69 percent of marketers report that branding is the top application for social media. However, even the most seldom used application of social media –new product development—was reported by 23% of marketers. This range of applications hints at the potential of social media in the marketer toolkit.

(4) Social media metrics are increasingly ready for prime time—led by the growth in the use of ROI.

Compared to the 25% of marketers who reported measuring ROI in BtoB’s 2011 report, today’s research reports that 40% of marketers measure ROI. This channel is not only measured by ROI -- web-traffic is a standard key performance indicator. When asked the effect of their social media marketing on web-traffic, 97 percent of marketers reported an increase.

“This is a game-changer in every sense from tactics to strategy. Social media is a potent new currency in the today’s economy and the numbers prove it.” said Bob Felsenthal, VP and Publisher of BtoB Magazine. “What’s important about this research is the value of each of these platforms –how to use them and what to use them for—is reported based on conditions in the market right now.”

Survey Methodology
This survey was fielded online from the period of March 5 to March 16, 2012. The true population of B2B marketing professionals in the US was researched via a 30 question online survey. A representative sample of the BtoB marketers audience was invited to participate in the survey via email. A sample of 622 completes was achieved. Confidence Interval: 95% - Margin of Error: +/- 5%
Methods and procedures adhere to the standards and ethics established by the Market Research Association (MRA-net.org). Individual participant or participant company names are not disclosed. Results are reported in aggregate only. No incentive was offered to complete the survey.

“B2B Social Media Marketing: A Surge in Adoption” is available online at www.btobonline.com/intelligencecenter. The research will also be presented as part of a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 2 pm ET, featuring speakers including BtoB’s research director John Distefano; Sharon Crost, global online / social media marketing manager for Hitachi Data Systems; and Petra Neiger, senior social media manager for Cisco Systems. To learn more and to view the webcast, visit www.btobonline.com/webcasts.

About BtoB
BtoB is dedicated to integrated business-to-business marketing. The magazine is read by 100,000 b-to-b marketers in print and online. Every issue is filled with game-changing strategies and tactics needed for success, including news, analysis, benchmarks and best practices. BtoB also publishes a wide variety of e-newsletters addressing specific areas of b-to-b marketing, and hosts webinars, virtual trade shows and live events.

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BtoB is dedicated to integrated business-to-business marketing. The magazine is read by 100,000 b-to-b marketers in print and online. Every issue is filled with game-changing strategies and tactics needed for success, including news, analysis, benchmarks and best practices. BtoB also publishes a wide variety of e-newsletters addressing specific areas of b-to-b marketing, and hosts webinars, virtual trade shows and live events.

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