B2B Marketers: 53% Will Be “Intensely Engaged” in Social Media Marketing By 2013

Social media is now mainstream for B2B marketers, and a new study from BtoB looks at the demand for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter — and how marketers are using each platform effectively.  The study also looks at which traditional marketing channels are receiving smaller allocations as money is increasingly directed toward social efforts.

In 2012, nearly one-third (32%) of marketers are “very” or “fully” engaged in social marketing, up significantly from 21% back in 2011. By 2013, 97% of marketers will be involved with social media to some degree, while the majority (53%) will be “intensely engaged” in social media marketing.

What are the most-used channels for B2B marketers using social media?

  • LinkedIn (83%)
  • Twitter (80%)
  • Facebook (79%)
  • YouTube (60%)
  • blogging (50%)

Most Important Social Networks for B2B Marketers via BtoB studyThe story changed when respondents were asked which channels were most important for their social media efforts: LinkedIn remained in the lead with 30%, but blogging came in second (20%) followed closely by Facebook (19%) and Twitter (16%).

How much of traditional media spending is being allocated toward social media marketing? Nearly three-quarters of marketers are moving “as much as 10%” of their traditional media budget allocations toward social, according to BtoB.  And a majority of marketers (56%) are moving marketing dollars from paid search into social marketing.

The ability to network and collaborate was considered an essential benefit of social media for 30% of respondents. Christa Carone, CMO at Xerox Corp., told BtoB that “there are other tools in the PR toolkit, but social is the predominant one right now.”

However, not everyone is jumping on the social media bandwagon.  Last year 46% of marketers surveyed weren’t involved in social media marketing. This year that number dropped, but over one-third (35%) still have little or no involvement with social marketing.

John Mannion, exec VP-director, client relations at marketing agency Doremus, San Francisco, expressed some of the challenges of social marketing: “What’s different about social is, those conversations we used to have in the hallways [at trade shows] are documented and searchable. Now, companies are publishers and wrestling with the obligations that come with it.”

The main obstacles to social media marketing included:

  • lack of resources (70%)
  • poorly defined success metrics (57%)
  • “lack of knowledge about social media” (44%)
  • management resistance (22%)

BtoB’s study was conducted online in March, with 622 respondents from companies of various sizes, though small businesses predominated.

View the complete report here: 2012 B2B Social Media Marketing: A Surge in Adoption