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Five Awesome B2B Social Media Statistics

Do you think social media isn’t for B2B organizations? Think again. It’s true B2B tends to be slower to adopt new trends. But social media is now mainstream and we have proof B2B companies are generating demand and getting leads using it.

We set out to find the top five B2B social media statistics. We had some parameters:

  • We wanted to find recent research no older than last year. The social landscape changes so rapidly we wanted the latest research we could get.
  • We wanted a variety of different sources – not just from digital marketing agencies with a vested interest in promoting social media.
  • We also wanted more than just two or three statistics.

Top B2B Social Media Statistics

With that said, here is what we rounded up:

  1. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not. Source: Hubspot, State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Report, 2010
  2. 69% of B2B marketers are shifting their budgets toward social media. Source: MarketingSherpa, October 2010
  3. 41% of B2B companies are acquiring customers through Facebook. Source: Hubspot, State of Inbound Marketing Report, 2011
  4. 86% of B2B companies are using social media, compared to 82% of B2C companies. Source: White Horse, March 2010
  5. Social media helps B2B marketers improve search results. Source: BtoB Magazine, July 2010

What does this mean for B2B organizations? You must absolutely be where your customers are – and increasingly your customers are spending time on social networks.

Follow Your Customers

“But wait," you say. “I’m an industrial B2B manufacturer. What’s a Facebook page supposed to do for me?” Social media isn’t just Facebook. Facebook might not be right for your business, though it is for Steel Master Buildings, a manufacturer of prefabricated steel buildings for industrial use. They have a highly successful and effective Facebook page. Keep the fundamentals in mind: Identify where your customers are first and then choose the right social channel.

In some cases, YouTube might be a better venue. Think about highlighting the benefits of your complex industrial product through a series of YouTube videos. Then equip your sales force to use the videos as a sales tool. If the videos are smart, fun, and even humorous – gasp! – your sales reps can share them with prospects as a way to get their foot in the door. Take a look at what Kinaxis, a supply chain risk management company, did with their YouTube video.

Does your B2B company have a social strategy? What’s holding you up?

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  • Aug 13 Posted 2 years ago SamJ

    I think B2B companies have a major challenge on solial media sites like FB because most companies aren't searching for solutions or information on FB.  For B2B I think there still isn't a real solution or reason for investing a lot of time into FB.  But I could be mistaken?

  • Ellie_Kef's picture
    Apr 8 Posted 2 years ago Ellie_Kef
    I agree with your point. B2B companies have to adopt creative ways of social media communication.
    It is a fact that videos can engage your audience better than other media.

    Guess what, the first B2B video sales pitch was filmed in 1957, the protagonist was Milt Grant and the pitch was about selling advertising time on his show to sponsors. Take a pick on this on You Tube (non embeddable).

    Each company has corporate responsibility stories, or R&D stories, or crises stories to narrate. You just need a good scenario, an offer and entertainment.
    Quoting Tim Washer who served as head of social media video production for IBM, ‘there is still an enhancement to brand equity that happens when you make people laugh. They will listen!’
  • Oct 24 Posted 3 years ago chiswick_chris (not verified)

    I head up the social media side of an international, industrial B2B PR agency, and I think you’re dead on in these assertions. In my experience, communicators are definitely using social media in all areas of business. I think the industrial side is catching on a bit more slowly, but this is most likely down to a lack of strong project ideas that compete with the established b2b marketing methods.

    I would love to see some more success stories. We’re pretty proud of our own foray into social media, which you can view here:

     

    http://www.youtube.com/user/SE10PR?blend=5&ob=5

     

    or

     

    http://se10.com/SE10Blog

     

    chris

  • Chad Wiebesick's picture
    Sep 15 Posted 3 years ago Chad Wiebesick

    @Elizabeth - thanks for weighing in. With two disparate audiences, do you find you need separate presences (two blogs, for instance) to be relevant to both residential (B2C) and commercial (B2B) clients? Would love to hear your thoughts on this. 

  • Sep 13 Posted 3 years ago Elizabeth Anderson (not verified)

    First of all, thank you Chad for featuring SteelMaster in your post.

    @Birdie, you're correct. We are both a B2B and B2C company, but that acutally makes it harder for us to market to our customers and gain a following through social media. We have to find a way to make our product appeal to both residential customers and commercial clients. For us, the best way to do that has been through photos and customer stories from both ends of the spectrum.

  • Sep 6 Posted 3 years ago Anonymous (not verified)

    This is a great post, and I really love the statistics. It is great to see that so many businesses are turning to social media for a lot of their marketing. I recenltly wrote a blog post that highlights how businesses are using social media. You can check it out here: http://www.mysmn.com/b2b-social-media-the-business-pov/

  • Chad Wiebesick's picture
    Sep 6 Posted 3 years ago Chad Wiebesick

    @Debbie - check out this B2B viral YouTube video from Corning. It's received nearly 15 million views: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cf7IL_eZ38&feature=youtu.be

  • Chad Wiebesick's picture
    Sep 2 Posted 3 years ago Chad Wiebesick

    Good luck with the launch of your new B2B social network, Georgio. Sounds intriguing. I'll look forward to hearing about new developments. 

  • Sep 1 Posted 3 years ago Georgio (not verified)

    "'I’m an industrial B2B manufacturer. What’s a Facebook page supposed to do for me?' Social media isn’t just Facebook." That's a great observation. Current social media sites are good mainly for B2C marketing and are not ideal for B2B, as the needs of B2B companies are completely different . We have realized this and we have recently launched a B2B Social Media site http://www.MyTradeZone.com, where businesses can create their company profile, list products or services, request price quotes, and follow other companies.

  • Chad Wiebesick's picture
    Aug 30 Posted 3 years ago Chad Wiebesick

    @Kevin and @LJJ - here is the full study from Hubspot citing the 67% figure: http://www.hubspot.com/Portals/53/docs/inbound_marketing_best_practices.pdf

  • Aug 26 Posted 3 years ago Debbie Bruce, P... (not verified)

    I agree that YouTube is the best forum for for B2B.  It gives a human face to a company and not only allows but invites dialogue.  At this point I don't think Facebook can compete with that 

  • Aug 26 Posted 3 years ago LJJ (not verified)

    Kevin,

    You have a valid point; the more interesting statistic I'd be interested in is what is the actual close percentage of potential leads. If 67% more leads are produced for companies that blog versus those that don't two things come to mind: one is what is the close ratio of those leads and the fact that perhaps many companies aren't producing many leads using the more traditional lead generation tools, to begin with, which is why there is a higher lead percentage with the blog sites.

    In my opinion it's not about leads it's about sales and sales are made by decision makers!

  • Aug 25 Posted 3 years ago Kevin hagen (not verified)

    Not buying it. I would like to know the businesses and business types that they got those stats from. Just think about it logically. Do decision makers, business owners and managers have ANY time for FB during the day? No. In the evening if they use FB it is for personal reasons, not business. Get rid of all the home businesses in those stats and it will be a different story.

  • Taryn Erickson's picture
    Aug 25 Posted 3 years ago Taryn Erickson

    Chad - I loved your article and appreciate your insight! Happy to be connected. Let's collaborate! @Taryn44 http://someffect.wordpress.com/. You did a great job of helping social media be relevant to B2B. Rock on.

  • Chad Wiebesick's picture
    Aug 25 Posted 3 years ago Chad Wiebesick

    @Bridie I find a lot of "Best B2B Facebook Pages" cite companies like Cisco, American Express, Dell, etc. I hear very little about old-school industrial B2B companies. I like Steel Master Buildings because they are more industrial. They might sell through distributors rather than consumers directly.  

  • Chad Wiebesick's picture
    Aug 25 Posted 3 years ago Chad Wiebesick

    The article you shared John is a good counterpoint to why Facebook isn't right for every business. Particularly in B2B, with a typically long buying cycle, relationships matter. They matter offline and they matter online. If a B2B company can connect with a business executive outside of work -- say, on Facebook -- when that executive is in a more leisure frame of mind, that can be a good way to nurture a relationship. 

  • John Aymes's picture
    Aug 25 Posted 3 years ago John Aymes

    Great post, the stats are awesome. Social media platforms like facebook present social proof to prospects, make lead generation much more effective and take the coldness out of cold calling. Here's a blog post you might want to read: 

    http://socialmediatoday.com/ckochster/331100/4-reasons-why-facebook-stinks-b2b-marketing#comment-43889?ref=user_profile_comments

  • Aug 25 Posted 3 years ago Jason Martin (not verified)

    2010 stats are almost becoming "old" with the way social media changes and grows so quickly. I wish those stats you used were more current, but they are still pretty powerful. 

  • Aug 25 Posted 3 years ago Bridie Jenner (not verified)

    I'm surprised at the 41% Facebook stat.  I had a Facebook page for my business but recently got rid of it as it wasn't adding anything - unlike both twitter and LinkedIn.

     

    I wouldn't agree that Steel Master Buildings is strictly a B2B business - their information tab states they sell to commercial and residential... so B2C surely?