28 Awesome B2B Social Media Statistics

Below are a collection of B2B social media statistics collected from various sources covering a wide range of topics. We hope you enjoy digging into the numbers. If you have any other interesting stats, please add them in the comments and include the source with link.

Usage:

  • 86% of B2B firms are using social, compared to 82% of B2C. (Source)
  • B2B firms aren’t as active in their social media activity with only 32% engaging on a daily basis compared with 52% of B2C firms. (Source)
  • More than half (53.5%) of marketers surveyed said they currently use social media as part of their marketing strategy. This is up from 2009, when 45.0% of marketers said they used social media for marketing. (Source)

Forecasts:

  • Annual growth in US B2B online marketing spend is forecast at 8% in 2010 and is set to reach 14% by 2012. (Source)
  • B2B advertising spend on social media and lead generation sites is forecast to grow at an annualized rate of 21% and 17% respectively to 2013. (Source)
  • Online accounted for 7% of the B2B marketing mix in 2008. This is set to reach 12% by 2013. (Source)
  • Two thirds of B2B marketers believe that online must be complemented by traditional marketing activities. (Source)
  • Only 50% of B2B marketers formally analyze metrics to judge ROI – but those that do find online marketing more effective. (Source)
  • B2B marketing spending on social networking sites is predicted to rise 43.3%. (Source)
  • Forrester predicts B2B interactive marketing spending to reach $4.8 billion by 2014 – almost double that estimated for 2009 ($2.3 billion). (Source)
  • B2B social media marketing spending will grow from just $11 million in 2009 to $54 million in 2014. (Source)
  • US business-to-business (B2B) advertising and marketing spending will increase by 0.8% this year, to $129 billion. (Source)

Executive Interest:

  • 36% of B2B execs surveyed said there was low executive interest in social media in their company, compared with 9% of B2C marketers who said the same. (Source)
  • 46% of B2B respondents said social media was perceived as irrelevant to their company, while only 12% of consumer-oriented marketers had the same problem. (Source)

Focus:

  • According to an eMarketer study, B2B online marketers focus on lead generation (38%), retention (34%) and awareness (28%).  (Source)
  • The top applications for the use of social media for b2b marketers are thought leadership (59.8%), lead generation (48.9%), customer feedback (45.7%) and advertising on sites (34.7%). (Source)

Channels:

  • Asked to rate the effectiveness of specific social media sites in their marketing efforts, more than one-half of respondents said that Facebook was “extremely” or “somewhat” effective. Somewhat fewer said the same of LinkedIn, and just 35% considered Twitter effective. (Source)
  • In contrast, when Hubspot surveyed B2B companies in North America about lead generation through social channels, 45% rated LinkedIn effective, compared with just 33% who said the same of Facebook. (Source)
  • Methods generating the highest B2B ROI are topped by advertisers’ own websites, followed by conferences, exhibitions and trade shows; direct mail; search engine keywords; and e-marketing/e-newsletters. (Source)
  • B2B advertisers see cross-media marketing as most effective; 78% combine three or more major marketing methods. (Source)

Measurement:

  • 34% of B2B marketers said they were not measuring social success at all versus just 10% of B2C respondents. (Source)
  • Website traffic, brand awareness, engagement with prospects and engagement with customers are the leading metrics used to measure the success of social media for B2B companies. (Source)

Resource Allocation:

  • 60% of B2B firms have no staff dedicated to social media compared with 54% of B2C players. (Source)
  • Just 10% of B2B firms use outside agencies or consultants compared with 28% of B2C firms. (Source)

Budgets:

  • B2B product marketers were spending an average of 3.4% of their marketing budgets on social media in February 2010, and B2B services marketers were spending 6.5%. Respondents expected those proportions to reach 7.4% and 11%, respectively, over the next year. (Source)
  • B2B marketing spending on social networking sites is predicted to rise 43.3% in 2010. (Source)
  • 39.2% of B2B marketers say they plan to boost their marketing budgets in 2010, 47.5% plan to keep them flat; and 13.3% plan to decrease them.  Among those that plan to increase budgets, 11.1% plan to raise them by more than 30%; 18.8% plan to increase them between 20% and 29%; 31.1% plan increases between 10% and 19%; and 39.0% plan to increase budgets less than 10%. (Source)
  • Within online marketing, the top areas that will see spending increases include Web site development (70.7% plan increases), email marketing (68.6%), search marketing (62.3%), social media (60.3%), video (50.7%) and webcasts (46.0%) (Source)

Comments

  1. says

    Adam – great stats, thank you for posting. Although I guess you have to take these things with a pinch of salt.
    I read with interest, for example, that “online accounted for 7% of the B2B marketing mix in 2008″ rising to 12% by 2013. I wonder how that is calculated. Online display advertising spend, maybe. But can this possibly include the amount of time, money and energy we are putting into social media, SEO, PPC, website management etc etc? Online is a massive part of what we do, and has been for a long time. Much more than 7% anyway.
    How rude of me to criticise though when you have been good enough to post these stats though! Thanks for doing so and getting me thinking..
    John

  2. Chad Hartman says

    Great stats Adam. Having to justify my use of B2B social media at times, these are great numbers to have. It is also good to see usage trends moving in the right direction. Thanks

  3. says

    John- always take stats with a pinch of salt. Before using stats as evidence or to make important decisions, you should dig into the numbers and make sure they’re accurate and unbiased. That being said, they are great thought starters and extremely useful for understanding key points of data.

    I’m a bit of a stats junkie myself, so this was a fun post to put together. Glad to hear it got you thinking- hopefully it will help others do the same!

  4. says

    Love the stats summary. I agree that stats should be questioned, although when you have multiple sources all trending in similar direction it does lend a bit more credibility to them right off the bat.

    Wonderful to have a ready source for answering questions, calming concerns and convincing clients that social media is not a fad, but a new way of communicating.

    Thanks for pulling them all together in one place.

    Diane Vautier
    @dvautier

  5. says

    Thanks Adam, both for the useful stats and the caution. Too many people just throw around random data points like some of these without looking at sourcing, methodology, etc. For example, we see one survey says 86% of B2B firms are using social media, but another says that 46% say social media is perceived as irrelevant to their company. Are they both “right”? Probably, but only if you dig in. Clearly these all add up to yet more evidence of the general direction of growing acceptance and use of social media in B2B, but I’d be very careful about going much further than that!

  6. says

    Fantastic resource Adam! Thanks for sharing. Some really good ammo here to use in conversations with those B2B senior execs who still seem to doubt social media’s utility in their space.

  7. says

    Rob and Adam,
    Love the stats, but a big problem is the term itself “social media” … what does that really mean. Most buyers and users don’t connect well to the term. The other term that is very misleading is “traditional marketing”. What does THAT really mean? Most of my clients use LinkedIn extensively, but don’t necessarily consider that as social media, but as permission-based online networking.

    I find that us B2B marketing experts create much of the confusion with our clients and buyers by making social media sound like a strategy, when it is really a tactical aspect of an overall client acquisition strategy.

    We would all do well to make things more simple in our use of terms and arguments], rather than confusing and complex. Keep the stats and their sources coming.

    @hebruce

  8. says

    Jason, Bratface, Diane, Rob and Paul-

    Thanks for the positive feedback and for leaving comments. We always enjoy hearing from our readers.

    Henry- you make some valid points. I feel like I defend social media now the same way I used to with web, email and search. It’s hard to get newer tactics to be considered part of the overall marketing strategy for those that aren’t actively involved. But web, email and search evolved and any good marketer is covering those channels as part of their core marketing strategy, so hopefully social media will be in that same picture soon if it isn’t already. Educating and promoting social media benefits through a simple message is a challenge at the moment, but hopefully that will subside over time as the channel matures and more marketers find success using social media.

    Thanks for the insightful comment-

    Adam

  9. Kevin says

    Great post – thanks for doing all the leg work that went into putting this all in one place.

    What about performance, though? If “50% of B2B marketers formally analyze metrics to judge ROI”, have you seen any compelling reports on what that 50% is finding?

    I work at a company where “everyone else is doing it” doesn’t fly with execs. Don’t get me wrong – we still invest considerable amounts of $$ and time in ‘social media’, but sure would be nice to be able to be able to forecast the impact and then compare our results with industry benchmarks like we do with just about any other place we spend.

    Thanks again.

  10. says

    Adam:

    Good body of work. The data seems to support all the interest I’ve been seeing in trying to find the appropriate way to adapt social media to the enterprise. I suppose part of reason for the increased interest is the current economic climate (marketing budgets have been slashed) but I think more to the point is that most web marketers being hired are in their 20′s and have been using social media since they were 10. It’s this group that execute all the marketing initiative. In the end, it’s all about demographics.

    Joseph Karwat
    CEO
    Staffbio.com

  11. Barbara says

    While I appreciate how much marketers are using it, I’m more interested in data around whether or not buyers and influencers are receiving, believing, and acting on it. Would love the same sort of information Kevin is asking for…and so would my executives who question the ROI of just joining the fray. (And they don’t buy the creative definitions of “ROI” either…) Do these stats exist anywhere?

  12. says

    Great info Adam, it would be fascinating to see how much those stats have changed since your post – With the improvements in social channels like Linkedin, and the plethora of success stories out there, seems B2B companies are engaging even more in social media.

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