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B2B Marketers Using Social Media to Boost Search

September 21, 2010

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.

Best Marketers Use More Social Media Channels

Best marketers use an expanded set of social channels. Not only to they rely on LinkedIn and Facebook, for example, but best marketers are roughly twice as likely as the rest of marketers to use YouTube (91% vs. 47%) and social bookmarking (32% vs. 15%).

The best use Twitter just 55% of the time, and are more likely to rely on traditional social-media channels such as company blogs (58%) or webinars (62%).

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