Do you ever wish that you could get a comprehensive view of how b2b marketers are utilizing social media so that you can see what works and what doesn’t? If you’re anything like me then you definitely have! You may or may not know that Social Media Examiner and HubSpot have both come out with comprehensive reports on social media marketing.
While I strongly encourage you to read these in depth social media reports for yourself (they offer a plethora of insights in their combined 101 pages), I have taken the time to summarize Hubspot’s 2015 Social Media Benchmarks Report and Social Media Examiner’s 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report (their 2015 report should come out in May) and share takeaways that are especially applicable for b2b marketers.
Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report uses data from over 2,000 marketers and includes insights on a range of subjects related to social media marketing. It’s data is based on analyzing social media marketers’ perceptions. The Hubspot Social Media Benchmarks Report uses data from over 7,000 marketers but is focused on the relationship between post frequency, following size, and engagement. It’s data is based on analyzing social media marketers’ behavior while using Hubspot’s social media management tool: Social Inbox.
Hubspot’s Social Media Benchmarks Report
This report focuses on three variables (frequency, following, and engagement) and analyzes how they are related.
The most insightful finding in Hubspot’s study is that post frequency does not increase engagement. Getting followers to engage with your company’s social media efforts is a matter of balance. In general, the greater a company’s following, the more they can post without over saturating their audience. For the Consumer Goods/Retail/Ecommerce industry, (the industry with the second highest social following: around 400,000) engagement increased when post frequency increased, but for the Real Estate industry (an industry with a much smaller social following: around 200,000) engagement decreased when post frequency increased.
So where does the marketing industry stand? The marketing industry has the third largest average following (around 250,000), the second highest post frequency (14.17 a week across all networks), and has some of the lowest engagement (about 1 a week).
Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report
This report was published in May of 2014, but still has many applicable insights for marketers right now. It includes insights on a large range of topics. Here are the insights that I found most applicable to b2b marketers.
While 92% of marketers say that social media is valuable to their marketing efforts, only 37% of marketers were able to measure social media ROI.
Facebook was the most popular social network with 54% of marketers choosing it over any other network followed by Linkedin with 17% of marketers choosing it over all other networks. But surprisingly, only 50% of b2c marketers agreed that their Facebook marketing was effective and only 34% of b2b marketers agreed. For b2b marketers, 33% agreed that Linkedin is the most important social platform beating out Facebook at 31%.
Linkedin is a must for b2b marketers. While Facebook is the most popular social platform for marketers all around, it is extremely hard for b2b marketers to use effectively. If your spending tons of time on Facebook you may want to start spending some of that time on Linkedin instead.
For b2b marketers the preferred social media platform were as follows:
Even though blogging is listed 4th for preferred social platform, original written content was ranked the most important form of marketing content, and the content that marketers were going to increase in production the most. While blogging may not be the most useful social platform, original content is the fuel behind social media marketing and is thus an indespinsable asset to any marketer.
Here are some of the most popular social platforms and whether they skew towards more b2c or b2b activity:
- Linkedin: b2b
- Google+: b2b
- Twitter: useful for both
- Facebook: b2c
- Instagram: b2c
- Pinterest: b2c
B2B marketers should be wary of which social platforms they incorporate into their marketing efforts. While ROI for b2b social media marketing is difficult to measure in general, marketers can save time and money by steering clear of inapplicable platforms.
Social media marketing is still a very new field. Most social media marketers are relatively new to the scene with 1 to 2 years of experience. The difficulty of measuring ROI makes it hard for marketers to find out what is working and what isn’t. Sometimes success seems to come as much out of the blue as failure does. Staying clued in on social media trends in your industry can minimize the headaches. If you found this article helpful, give it a share!