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LinkedIn Top Social Tool for B2B Marketers

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More than nine out of ten B2B marketers (93%) say they conduct social media marketing to some extent and cite LinkedIn as their single most important social channel, according to a new report from BtoB Online.

Among surveyed B2B marketers who conduct social marketing, 26% cite LinkedIn as their single most important social tool, 20% cite Facebook, 19% cite blogging, and 14% cite a customer community as their top tool.

Some 13% of B2B marketers cite Twitter as their most important social tool, and 7% cite YouTube.

Below, other findings from BtoB Online's report, Emerging Trends in B2B Social Marketing:  Insights from the Field.

LinkedIn is the social channel most used to support lead generation in the B2B space, while Facebook is viewed as a better medium for promoting products and events, BtoB finds.

Obstacles to Adoption

Asked to identify the top 3 major obstacles to adopting social media marketing, 70% of B2B marketers cite a lack of resources. Such marketers are faced with other obstacles as well, citing the following:

  • Poorly defined success metrics and key performance indicators: 57%
  • Lack of knowledge about social media: 44%
  • Management resistance: 22%

Measurement a Challenge

Some 75% of B2B marketers who conduct social marketing say they do not measure the ROI of social initiatives.

"Although the metrics to measure social media efforts are still in early development, it is important to note that on average, B2B marketers enjoy a 10% lift in website traffic due to social media marketing," said Bob Felensthal, BtoB publisher.

About the report: Findings from the report, Emerging Trends in B2B Social Marketing: Insights From the Field, are based interviews with 577 B2B marketers, conducted in March 2011.


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  • by Nick Stamoulis Thu Apr 14, 2011 via web

    It makes sense that most B2B companies would focus their social media efforts on LinkedIn. Since it is seen as the "professional" social networking site, theoretically you should be able to connect with the people who have purchasing power. A more targeted audience is waiting on LinkedIn than Facebook. However, I can see Twitter gaining ground as a useful B2B social media marketing tool.

  • by Francis Moran Thu Apr 14, 2011 via web

    We've had tremendous success initiating and participating in LinkedIn groups, questions and answers, and discussions on behalf of clients.

    For example, one discussion we started about a month ago continues to be the most popular discussion in a group of more than 8,000 of our clients' peers and prospects. Our client has been ranked as the most influential member of this group every week since the discussion was first launched, providing him huge visibility. With more than 90 comments and still counting, the discussion has vastly out-paced the same content posted on our client's own blog.

    Twitter ranks a close second for us in terms of how much we use social media platforms for our clients, but it is more utilitarian, providing a good platform to engage with stakeholders and to promote content we have posted elsewhere.

  • by Bernie Borges Thu Apr 14, 2011 via web

    Based on my experience as a social media trainer and consultant with B2B companies, I strongly believe the single largest obstacle is management resistance. Anecdotally speaking, management resistance is what I hear as the #1 obstacle to using social media.

  • by Beth Humble Thu Apr 14, 2011 via web

    We are seeing very positive lead trends from our LinkedIn posts. One of the best things you can do right away is link your Twitter feed to your LinkedIn profile. Then work on expanding your networks in both areas and sharing great content daily.

    http://twitter.com/bhumble

  • by Dan Soschin Thu Apr 14, 2011 via web

    Great article! I think you can successfully overcome the 1st obstacle if you have already overcome #2 and #3... and measure performance at an aggregate level... you can then leave it up to the sales person or business development person to determine how much they should use LinkedIn as a tool to contribute to their own success, and so long as they meet their success metrics, they know they are leveraging the tool effectively. Of course you could always track how many cold connections turn into sales... www.dansoschin.com is my blog for more info...a

  • by Diane Toomey Fri May 6, 2011 via web

    On the topic of linking your twitter feed to you LinkedIn profile, there is a way to do this selectively by checking the appropriate setting box in LI and using the hashtag #in when you want your tweet to appear in both places.

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