The 2012 Social Media Industry Report asked 3,800 B2B marketers how they utilize social media to grow their businesses. Below is an excerpt from their findings as they relate to getting results through social media, as well as an explanation of how these findings make sense when examined through our current communication climate.
Over 56% of B2B marketers acquired new business partnerships through social media. Society has changed, and the way we develop and maintain relationships has evolved. Today, online relationships mean something to us; in fact, we interpret them in much the same way as offline relationships. So it’s no surprise that a little over half of the participants have acquired new business partnerships through this ubiquitous form of communication.
An integral part of understanding your B2B buyer is understanding the industry within which he or she resides. Nearly 69% of B2B marketers gather marketplace insights from their social efforts. This makes sense, as we are social beings who often talk about what is pertinent to our social lives. And today, we use social media to have these conversations; thus, social media sites can easily educate you on issues regarding the industry in question.
53% of B2B marketers found social media helped develop loyal fans. We are loyal to people we know or trust. And social media allows you to connect with your target audience in a way that means something to them. Whether or not you take advantage of this opportunity is another story, but the possibility is there and over half of B2B marketers are using it.
I would recommend checking out the entire 42-page 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. It contains some great statistics that speak to the importance of social media, which may prove useful in justifying the inclusion of a social marketing strategy in your B2B marketing plan.