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How B2B Marketers Use Twitter: Top Content Sources, Most Retweeted Handles

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
October 8, 2013

Industry media sites are the most common source of content shared by B2B marketers on Twitter, accounting for 62% of all content shares, according to a recent analysis by Leadtail and DNN Software.

Mainstream media sites are the second most popular content source, accounting for 25% of Twitter shares.

Social media sites are the third most popular source for content, constituting 11% of shares by business-to-business marketers.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on an analysis of the tweets of 500 North American B2B marketers (manager level and above).

Most Shared Industry Media Sources

Mashable is the most popular industry media source for B2B marketers (based on the number of unique marketers in the sample that shared each source on Twitter).

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Doug Kessler Tue Oct 8, 2013 via web

    Enjoyed this analysis. Congrats to @ValaAfshar!

  • by Evgeniy Wed Oct 9, 2013 via web

    Thanks for useful information you shared with us in this post!

  • by Reinoud @ Thu Oct 10, 2013 via web

    Very nice piece Ayaz!

    Im surprised that Social Media has only have 11% of the "most popular shared content sources" pie.
    I guess this will grow bigger overtime. Don't you agree?

    Marketing Director at

  • by Douglas Karr Thu Oct 10, 2013 via web

    Curious, where is the list of 500 and how were they selected?

  • by Ayaz Nanji Thu Oct 10, 2013 via web

    Reinoud -- My guess is that it's so low (11%) because a lot of social media B2B posts are recycled content (often from industry and mainstream media). Agreed that it'll grow over time as more original content is posted to the networks.

    Douglas - On page three of the report you can see a bit more detail on how the 500 were selected (though it doesn't name who they are. You can download it here:

    @Leadtail may be able to provide you with more info as well.

  • by Douglas Karr Thu Oct 10, 2013 via web

    So it's really the 50 most talked about out of the very limited 500 they selected somehow. ;) I love the list - just surprised at how few names I recognized and I have spoken and worked in the industry for a decade, work in this industry daily, publish in it, and am connected to most of the leaders in it.

    The median # of followers per marketer on the report is 894, hardly any at all. It makes me wonder if the source of the information wasn't actually the person on the list - but the person on the list was RT'd a ton, making them rise. So were the folks that were RT'd more influential? Or were the origin of the news in the tweet influential?

  • by Karri Carlson Fri Oct 11, 2013 via web

    Thanks for the comments on the report - and some great questions! I manage the production of the reports for @Leadtail, so happy to provide a bit of color:

    Reinoud: That chart is based on the 100 most shared sources, where most shared is defined as "shared by the largest number of unique marketers in the sample within the report period". So, while social sources are only 11 of the 100 most shared sources, it's worth also mentioning that they make up 5 of the top 20 - so they have a lot of power to reach this audience.

    Douglas: The mentioned/RT'd lists are those mentioned/RT'd the most *by* the sample of B2B marketers we analyzed - not just *from* the sample itself. As Ayaz mentioned, there are more details about the selection criteria in the report, but in short, our approach is to create a sample that represents a broad spectrum of B2B marketers, and we do use a minimum requirement of 100 followers/100 friends/100 tweets.

    Love the comments and questions, and always happy to chat more via Twitter or email!

    - Karri

  • by Douglas Karr Fri Oct 11, 2013 via web

    Great additional info, thanks! I'd encourage you to broaden the scope next time to a year of data and wider network. I'm sure there are at least 5,000 very influencial B2B marketers across the country on Twitter. 500 is very, very restrictive.

  • by Rodd "JR" Duff Fri Oct 18, 2013 via web

    Social media is here to stay. Analytic information available today; for the "Mom & Pop" shops was, at one time, only available to the rich and powerful. @RoddDuff

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