12 Revealing Stats About B2B Social Media Marketing

Articles about B2B social media marketing adoption often paint a rosy picture of the current landscape, but when you dig in deeper, there are many challenges in effectiveness and understanding the results. In a recent survey of 5,000 B2B marketers from all industries, Penton Marketing Services found some pretty revealing statistics. Click the link for the full report (registration form required).

1. 81% of B2B Marketers find online marketing moderately to extremely challenging.
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2. 77% of B2B Marketers said their websites are not that effective at generating leads.
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3. 60% of B2B Marketers have implemented a social media strategy, or will in the next year.
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4. 90% of B2B Companies actively participate on Facebook.
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5. 53% of B2B Companies actively participate on Twitter.
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6. 47% of B2B Companies actively participate on LinkedIn.
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7. 33% of B2B Companies maintain an active blog or blogs.
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8. 63% of B2B Marketers are either vaguely aware or not aware what is being said about their companies online.
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9. 47% of B2B Marketers are satisfied with their social media strategy.
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10. 35% of B2B Marketers don’t think social media is critical for their business.
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11. 26% of B2B Marketers don’t know how to measure their social media success.
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12. 14% of B2B Marketers don’t know if their competitors are active in social media.
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Do any of these stats represent the social media adoption situation at your B2B company?

Comments

  1. says

    The Facebook and Twitter stats actually surprised me (90% of B2B Companies actively participate on Facebook and 53% of B2B Companies on Twitter). I feel like it is so much easier to participate on twitter, especially from a mobile device. Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    Some of these numbers are very surprising. I would have expected a higher percentage who don’t know how to measure and a much lower number of B2B companies on Facebook!

  3. says

    Wow, I’m shocked at how low the percentage is of B2B companies active on LinkedIn. For us at PostcardMania, LinkedIn has been our top source of lead generation, way above Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels. Of course each business is different with their own set of targets and goals they want to achieve through social media, but I can’t image any business turning away qualified leads…

  4. C.W. says

    These are some very interesting and revealing statistics. I am shocked that this research found that 35% of the B2B marketers included in this study don’t think that social media is critical for their business. While social media may not be presumed to be critical to their business, I would argue it is vitally important as a way to communicate with the public at this point in history. In an article from Mashable recently stated that social media marketing spending is estimated to hit $3.1 billion by 2014 (http://mashable.com/2009/07/08/social-media-marketing-growth/). I find it interesting that 90% of companies use Facebook compared to only 53% on twitter. Which channel do you think, overall, is more effective for B2B marketers?

    In the handbook of communication ethics, Taylor & Hawes in a chapter about postmodernism, globalization, and the meta-ethics of contemporary communication state that “as the concerns for postmodernism and globalization increasingly merge, the field of communication ethics is challenged to reconsider its modernist positions concerning the ethical subject and the practice of discourse in ethical situations” (p. 114). What role do you think social media plays in a more globalized role and how do businesses conduct ethical communication via these channels to multiple publics?

    Caitlin Weins

  5. says

    Thanks for the numbers. Very enlightening. However, some of the statistics are mis-leading. Such as #4. It should read:
    “Of those B2B companies that participate in Social Media” 90% of B2B Companies actively participate on Facebook.
    In any case 90% seems very high to me.

  6. says

    Great post Jeff!
    These are great stats. I’m not surprised about B2B companies complaining about their websites, they are out of date.
    The inbound component of marketing is totally ignored, of course they have no leads.
    This is a great area to differentiate yourself from the competition by utilizing an inbound strategy.
    Thanks for sharing :-)

  7. says

    Doh!!! 90% of B2B Companies actively participate on Facebook…47% of B2B Companies actively participate on LinkedIn. A bit of sarcasm here, but I’m wondering if B2B marketers generally know that Facebook is generally more useful for B2C and Linkedin for B2B?!?!

    Sorry, this is just my observation, but the problem in 2012 is that the vast majority of decision-making executives are still in KINDERGARTEN when it comes to ANYTHING on the Web, let alone Social Technologies. Until they get their own hands in it (Blog, Linkedin, Twitter, etc.), their operations will remain paralyzed, deaf, and mute in the Social Scape – and will suffer for it, to varying degrees depending on the strength of their core value-prop.

    Thanks for sharing. Spot-on book.

  8. Ilkka Lipasti says

    Interesting stats, but still would not mind some more insight behind the data.
    E.g. Is the target audience different in SoMe than in TradMe, like some studies suggest?

  9. says

    Thanks for your comments, Mike. Yes, those reported stats were a bit of a surprise to me, too. Not only do B2B decision-makers need to get their hands on social media platforms, but they need to understand where their customers are and what are they getting benefit from. This is when the B2B adoption of social media increases and companies start seeing real results from their efforts.

  10. says

    *shrugs shoulders*

    Very interesting and somewhat depressing statistics there, Jeff. I would note the irony of your findings by observing that your book’s title begins with the three SM tools businesses seem to ignore the most: Blogging, LinkedIn & Twitter.

    I have nothing against FB personally but I don’t think it’s where a company should usually sink the majority of its efforts if we’re talking B2B marketing. Frankly, I can’t think of a better means of engagement and credibility-setter than a corporate blog and Twitter seems like a means of informally communicating with peers and clients during the business day than FB. And I’ve done a lot of business using LinkedIn.

    So, there you have it. Sounds like folks like you have both your challenges and your opportunities well laid out in front of you!

  11. says

    Jeffrey
    Those stats do make sense 100% and we all read a lot to know that it is from gut feeling already true! However clients are skeptical and would like to know the source of information : can you help? Thank you for your kind help
    Greetings from this side of the pond!
    @brunogebarski

  12. Trenton says

    Another article on this site says differently, one stat in particular from that article is that 51% of b2b companies have no social media tracking in place at all.

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