Finally, brands are starting to put together the data they need to show how social media marketing affects leads and sales. That means, brand marketers are securing higher budgets for social media marketing initiatives than ever before.
In a new report from Webmarketing123, State of Digital Marketing 2012, 52% of U.S. business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers and 41% of U.S. business-to-business (B2B) marketers indicated that they planned to increase their social media marketing budgets in 2012. In fact, just 2% of B2C respondents to the study survey indicated that they would not increase their social media marketing budgets in 2013, and just 3% of B2B respondents did not plan to increase their social media marketing budgets next year.
Taking a closer look at which social media sites B2C and B2B marketers have been focusing on, you can see that marketers understand the audiences on social media sites vary significantly. 69% of B2C marketers spent money on Facebook in 2012 versus just 40% for B2B marketers. Data from the survey revealed the following percentages of B2C and B2B marketers that invested in specific social media sites during 2012:
- Facebook: 69% B2C, 40% B2B
- Twitter: 39% B2C, 30% B2B
- LinkedIn: 23% B2C, 39% B2B
- Google+: 17% B2C, 14% B2B
- Pinterest: 14% B2C, 6% B2B
Furthermore, the study reveals that these social media marketing investments are working, which is opening the doors for increased spending in 2013. According to the study results, the following percentages of B2C and B2B marketers have generated leads or sales from social media sites:
- Facebook Leads: 67% B2C, 39% B2B
- Facebook Sales: 39% B2C, 19% B2B
- Twitter Leads: 43% B2C, 30% B2B
- Twitter Sales: 19% B2C, 14% B2B
- LinkedIn Leads: 21% B2C, 44% B2B
- LinkedIn Sales: 9% B2C, 23% B2B
- Google+ Leads: 15% B2C, 7% B2B
- Google+ Sales: 7% B2C, 3% B2B
- Pinterest Leads: 13% B2C, 3% B2B
- Pinterest Sales: 6% B2C, 1% B2B
Based on these findings, it’s clear that both B2C and B2B marketers are having a great deal of success in driving business through social media marketing on the leading social media sites, particularly Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, the problem with tracking social media results still exists, and 20% of survey respondents still didn’t know how social media affected their leads. Similarly, 40% didn’t know how social media affected their sales.
In other words, there is still much work to be done in creating the tools to effectively track social media marketing return on investment, but the results to this study show that marketers are making strides in this area — enough to increase social media marketing budgets at least, and that’s a good thing.
Image: Judit Klein
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