With an estimated 50 per cent of B2B marketers now using social media to generate leads, the benefits channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are also considered by B2B marketers to play a role in reducing marketing expense, improving sales, growing business partnerships, establishing thought leadership and generating leads. Additionally, according to an infographic compiled by Digital Information World, 90 per cent of B2B marketers see social media as a way to increase exposure overall in their marketing efforts. The consensus amongst key marketers in the B2B sector is indisputable with 90 per cent of enterprises saying that they respond to customer service enquiries on social media, while 54 per cent of B2B marketers say they use social media to generate leads, and 72 percent of the followers are likely to make a future purchase from the brand.
One of the key attractions that social media has for business is that the target market can go 24/7 on multiple platforms, according to the infographic.
Amongst B2B marketers, the top social media sites fall into a somewhat predictable pattern with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram leading the pack — but user numbers continue to increase. It is estimated that by 2017, social network ad spending will reach $35.98bn, representing 16 per cent of all digital ad spending globally. Additionally, this year it is estimated that B2B service companies will spend 16 per cent of their marketing budget on social media.
When it comes to content marketing, it is estimated that infographics are liked and shared three times more than other content and users are 30 times more likely to read them than text. Further, YouTube is estimated to be the most highly-engaged website of all social media platforms. Photographic images are also essential with blog posts resulting in 64 per cent more Facebook shares and 20 per cent more Twitter shares.
Amongst the biggest challenges for B2B marketers, according to the infographic is that only 30 per cent of marketing projects run by B2B service companies use marketing analytics, with 17 per cent of marketers finding it difficult to show the impact of social media on their business. Additionally, 15 per cent agreed that their top challenge as digital marketers includes “meeting the expectations of the always-connected customer.”
The infographic, compiled using information from a series of industry case studies, white papers and reports, concludes with some key strategies for fine-tuning social media campaign strategy including more live streaming on Facebook Live and Periscope, tweeting images that have received the most page views on other social media platforms or investing in content that is shareable.