As B2B marketers shift resources and marketing budgets to social media, many have begun to align their social-media efforts with search-engine marketing, using the social channel to drive search referrals and conversion rates among Web visitors, according to a study by BtoB Online and

Nearly six out of 10 B2B marketers (56%) say they are increasing the resources they allocate to social media in 2010 and 30% are increasing their social media marketing budgets—including social- media advertising and technology. Some 15% are adding social-media staff.

Among their top 5 goals for social media, B2B marketers cite the following:

  • Building brand awareness: 81%
  • Increasing website traffic: 77%
  • Generating leads: 67%
  • Providing deeper engagement: 66%
  • Improving search results: 57%

But some marketers are using social media more effectively to drive search: 44% of B2B marketers report increases in Web traffic since launching their social media efforts. Such "best" marketers, as defined in the study, actively engage in a set of key marketing activities that help drive search-performance results, including the following:

  • Setting distinct social-media goals.
  • Measuring social media marketing efforts.
  • Understanding the value of social media on SEO and paid search.
  • Using a greater variety of social-media channels.

Below, other findings from The Impact of Social Media on Search, based on a survey of 464 B2B marketers.

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