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Social Media Is a Corporate Blind Spot for B2B Execs

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More than one-third (36%) of US executives say they either never consider (7%) or rarely consider (29%) their company's social media reputation when making important business decisions, according to a survey from Zeno Group.

B2B executives are even more likely than their B2C counterparts to ignore their company's social media reputation when considering a business decision, and they tend to be slower to respond to damaging online articles or social media posts.

Below, additional findings from the 2012 Zeno Digital Readiness Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive.

Among the executives surveyed:

  • 43% of those working for B2B companies say they either never consider (10%) or rarely consider (33%) their social media reputation when making a business decision, whereas 57% either always consider (21%) or sometimes consider (36%) social media when making a decision.
  • 30% of those working for B2C brands say they either never consider (1%) or rarely consider (29%) consider their social media reputation when making a business decision, whereas 70% either always consider (35%) or sometimes consider (35%) social media when making a decision.


Moreover, B2Bs are slower than B2Cs to respond to negative online content.

When confronted with a damaging article or social-media post, 43% of B2B execs say they believe their firms can respond effectively within a 24-hour period, compared with 63% of B2C execs who say the same:

Some 13% of B2B execs say their firm would not engage an audience online at all to defend its reputation, compared with only 6% of B2C execs who say the same.

Execs in larger firms (those with more than 10,000 employees) are more likely than smaller firms (fewer than 10,000 employees) to say they always or sometimes consider their company's social media reputation (71% vs. 55%): 

Similarly, the findings by company size in terms of revenue show that larger firms (with revenue of $10 billion or more) are more likely than smaller ones (less than $5 billion in revenue) to respond within 24 hours to a damaging issue online (63% vs. 42%).

Geography also plays a role in social readiness. Execs in the northeast are far more likely than those in the western region of the US to be concerned about their company's social media reputation (72% vs. 49%).

About the data: The Zeno Digital Readiness Survey was conducted online among 300 US corporate executives (VPs, CEOs, presidents, and chairmen) at companies with revenue of $1 billion or more, by Harris Interactive, October 4-11, 2012.


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Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.

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  • by LCathy Thu Dec 20, 2012 via iphone

    Some work done on collecting the statistics. Personally spent a lot of time on social media.

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