Both B2B and B2C brands are capturing leads and sales opportunities via social media, though some channels are proving more effective than others, according to a survey from Webmarketing123.

Among B2B marketers surveyed, LinkedIn and Facebook are the social sites most successful at generating revenue opportunities:

  • 44% have generated leads via LinkedIn, and 23% have won sales via the platform.
  • 39% have generated leads via Facebook, and 19% have won sales.
  • 30% have generated leads via Twitter, and 14% have won sales.

By contrast, B2C marketers are winning more leads and sales via Facebook and Twitter:

  • 67% say they have generated leads via Facebook, and 39% say they've won sales as a result of outreach on the site.
  • 43% say they have generated leads via Twitter, and 19% say they've won sales via the site.

Below, additional findings from the 2nd annual Webmarketing123 State of Digital Marketing Survey.

Social Marketing Adoption, Budgets

Contrary to the perception that B2B marketers trail B2C in social marketing activity, fully 63% of B2B marketers describe themselves as "moderately" to "fully" engaged in social marketing, and 25% say they are "very" to "fully" engaged with social outreach.

By contrast, 70% of B2C marketers describe themselves as "moderately" to "fully" engaged, and 40% say they are "very" to "fully" engaged with social media marketing.

Moreover, 41% of B2B marketers say they plan to increase their social marketing budgets in 2013, and 56% plan to keep budgets flat next year; 52% of B2C marketers plan to increase social budgets in 2013, and 46% plan to keep budgets flat.

Top Channels

Among B2Bs, Facebook and LinkedIn are the top areas of investment (40% and 39%, respectively), followed by Twitter (30%) and Google+ (14%).

By contrast, B2Cs are less invested in LinkedIn (23%), but more so in Facebook (65%), Twitter (39%), and Pinterest (14%).

SEO Beats All in Lead Generation

Despite the benefits of social media marketing, B2Bs say SEO (59%) is nearly three times more effective than PPC (20%) or social marketing (21%) for generating leads.

Similarly, among B2Cs, SEO (49%) has a greater impact on lead generation than social media (25%) or PPC (26%).

About the data: Findings are based on a survey of 500 US marketing professionals (two-thirds B2B and one-third B2C) in 2012. Companies responding to the survey include Sony, Olympus, Phillips, IBM, Hitatchi, Cisco, Agilent, Microsoft, Citrix, Medtronic, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Blue Shield, ADP, Pitney Bowes,, Angie’s List, GE, John Deere, Aramark, Thomson Reuters, Federal Express, Bose, and Nestlé.

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B2Bs and B2Cs Winning Leads, Sales via Social Media

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