Many marketers have held the belief that social media is more effective for companies that sell to consumers (B2C) rather than to other businesses (B2B). After all, B2B business is transacted by buyers and sales people who deal with complex bundles of product deliverables, pricing options and human relationships.
The opposite is actually true. Social Media Marketing Report, a 2012 study, conducted by Social Media Examiner showed that B2B companies are using social media at a similar level to their B2C counterparts and, more importantly, are reporting stronger results.
Interestingly, this study shows that 56% of of B2B companies have gained new business partnerships using social media – a higher level than the 45% of consumer companies reporting new business partnerships. B2Bs claimed greater marketplace insights (69% vs. 60%) and felt they get better search engine rankings (60% vs. 50% for B2C). The one area that lagged significantly for the B2B companies was the development of loyal followers and fans (63% of B2C companies versus only 53% of B2B).
B2B companies tend to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs most frequently, compared to consumer companies that use Facebook, and Twitter, followed by You Tube. But the levels are not as different as I would have suspected.
Does this surprise you?
Source: 2012 Social Media Marketing Report