B2B Social Media Success Starts with Measurable Objectives

B2B Marketers are always comparing their company social media efforts to other B2B companies. What are other companies trying to achieve? What is working? What are their biggest challenges? In a recent survey Ascend2 asked 687 business leaders, marketing executives and practitioners from around the world just those questions. And good for us they separated out the answers for B2B companies.

Some of these results were featured on eMarketer, but you can download the full Social Media Marketing Strategy Report for free from Ascend2 (registration required). Below are a selection of the results.

B2B Social Media Marketing Objectives

Top objectives for B2B marketers were improving customer engagement, increasing web site traffic and increasing their content reach. While the first could be a high level goal, if other parts of the business are focused on that objective, the other top objectives are more tactical. While they can certainly be measured, they are really a means to an end. And lead generation is not a large priority of B2B marketers using social media. But it probably is a priority objective of other marketing efforts. This is one reason B2B marketers are still failing with social media.

  • 43% of B2B Marketers say improve customer engagement is their most important objective
  • 37% of B2B Marketers say increase web site traffic is their most important objective
  • 34% of B2B Marketers say increase content reach is their most important objective
  • 29% of B2B Marketers say increase lead quality is their most important objective
  • 27% of B2B Marketers say increase lead quantity is their most important objective

B2B Social Media Marketing Tactics

Creating content are the top activities for social media marketing for those surveyed. Content is what drives lead generation and other top of the funnel activities, so these tactics are on track. But if lead generation is not a stated goal (above), it means that B2B marketers are not capitalizing on these tactics and including calls to action with every piece of content.

  • 40% of B2B Marketers say creating articles/blog post content is their most effective tactic
  • 32% of B2B Marketers say creating research/whitepapers is their most effective tactic
  • 29% of B2B Marketers say creating audio/video content is their most effective tactic

B2B Social Media Marketing Execution

While those B2B marketers surveyed indicated that various content types were their top activities in social media marketing, it turns out those same activities are the most challenging for them to complete. It is a different mindset to create content at the top of the funnel, or even to serve customers, that solves prospects’ and customers’ problems, rather than promoting the features and benefits of your products and services. Here are some B2B blogging ideas to help you to execute these activities.

  • 32% of B2B Marketers say creating audio/video content is the most difficult to execute
  • 32% of B2B Marketers say creating research/whitepapers is the most difficult to execute
  • 31% of B2B Marketers say creating articles/blog post content is the most difficult to execute

B2B Social Media Marketing Obstacles

And finally here are the main obstacles to success for B2B social media marketing. These are common problems at B2B companies. Who is going to do it? How do we measure the value and does the rest of the organization understand what you are doing with social media?

  • 37% of B2B Marketers say staff limitations is the biggest obstacle to achieving objectives
  • 36% of B2B Marketers say inability to measure social ROI is the biggest obstacle to achieving objectives
  • 27% of B2B Marketers say lack of organizational committment is the biggest obstacle to achieving objectives

Do these survey results match what you see in your B2B company or those you work with? What are some of the ways you have dealt with some of these challenges and obstacles?

Comments

  1. says

    I’m glad to see that improving customer engagement is on the top of most important objectives. I’ve often seen businesses forget that’s what’s most important.

  2. says

    Of course we all feel the need to be accountable. But sometimes we just have to get on with things. I’m glad the Wright Bros didn’t wait for altimeters and sat nav to be invented before taking to the air.

  3. says

    I like how you touched on the obstacles of B2B Social Media Marketing. Working for a marketing recruitment agency we are finding that there are more and more B2B social media jobs that clients are looking to fill as a permanent part of their marketing team in order to the tackle these obstacles!

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