According to a White Horse report based on a March 2010 survey, 86% of B2B marketers are using social media, compared to 82% of B2C. However, the degree of engagement varies significantly: 52% of B2C marketers are engaged in daily social media marketing, while only 32% of B2B marketers have a daily social media presence. The full report compares B2B social media marketing use to B2C in the areas of staffing, support, utilization, and measurement.
The report concludes that B2C companies generally obtain more value from their social media marketing efforts. 51% percent of B2C companies have acquired a customer from Twitter, compared to 38% of B2B companies. The difference is greatest in customer acquisition figures for Facebook: 68% of B2C companies have obtained a customer from Facebook, but only 33% of B2B companies.
When it comes to professional social media network LinkedIn, the trends reverse. 45% percent of B2B companies have obtained a customer from LinkedIn, compared to only 26% of B2C companies. Figures for company blog customer acquisition are closest in range, with 57% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B companies obtaining a customer through this channel.
As reported in Mediapost, results indicate that both B2B and B2C marketers have difficulty with executive social media buy-in. However, a much higher percentage of B2B marketers report low executive interest than B2C marketers. Twenty-three percent of B2B marketers report their executives are curious but need education, compared to 39% of B2C marketers. The two groups converge at the top level of having executives who support and are actively engaged in social media (14% of B2B and 13% of B2C).
Survey results indicate that while a sizable percentage of both B2B and B2C marketers have little or no social media engagement, the obstacles they face are somewhat different, with insufficient personnel to maintain social media being a common problem for both B2B and B2C but other obstacles include a lack of organizational knowledge, preference for traditional marketing and perceived irrelevance to their field.
The survey strongly indicated the need for better internal education tools for B2B marketers to prove the value of social media.