36% of Companies Report Having Used Social Media to Convert an Initial Connection to a Sale

In November 2010, internet marketing agency R2i surveyed 296 marketing professionals at a mix of B2B and B2C companies about their social media marketing strategies, and found that 36% of respondents had been able to use social media to make a conversion from initial connection to sale, and 25% said they were “getting close” to having done so.

The Big Social Media Challenge: Not Enough Time

Asked about their greatest anticipated challenges with social media marketing in 2011, “time and resources” was cited by 45% of respondents.  This was also the highest response when it comes to barriers to entry into social media, with 42% selecting “time and resources,” and 38% said that their biggest mistake with social media was not allocating proper “time and resources.”  One-third–29%–of the companies surveyed have a dedicated staff, with an additional 11% planning to hire staff in 2011.

The second-largest barrier to entry was skepticism of return (21%), followed by “too many platforms” (12%) and “excutive buy in” (11%).

What’s Your Social Media Business Strategy?

44% of the companies surveyed said that they have a defined social media strategy.  31% use it primarily for publishing content, 27% for business development/lead generation and 12% primarily for public relations.

New Real-Time Business Technologies

The Companies surveyed plan to explore new technologies: about one-third will be investing in or intestigating geo-location; about one-fifth will look at social buying and QR codes.

Click here to see the full report: http://www.r2integrated.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=0BIzWUDujcE%3d&tabid=2153.


  1. This is an interesting article. I’m really curious about the missing steps we’re not hearing about between using social media and realizing a conversion. Although it may someday change, I get the feeling (backed up by no data whatsoever) that social media is not a tremendously efficient conversion tool by itself. Rather, it strikes me as a much more introductory device that must be followed by more direct internet marketing methods. Love to see some studies on just what the 36% who did see conversions–and maybe even more so the “getting close” crowd–actually did beyond social media to close the sale.


  2. Hi Steve – you’re right: it’s very hard to find data showing a direct conversion from social media (which is why we share any data we can get our hands on here!). That said, companies are only just beginning to experiment with “social commerce” — looking for ways to go beyond sharing, buzz-building and engagement to actual transaction.
    One interesting series of posts on this topic are being shared by Eventbrite: http://blog.eventbrite.com/social-commerce-2.


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