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B2B Social Media marketing really taking off

Posted by Danny Whatmough on 11th June 2010

Two studies out this week point to the fact that B2B businesses are not only using social media more in their marketing strategies, but they are experiencing impressive returns as a result.

Research by LeadForce1 finds that social media accounts for 15% of referral traffic to B2B sites with a social media presence. The analysis of where this traffic comes from is even more interesting, with LinkedIn being the top referrer with 27.1% of traffic to B2B sites, followed by Wikipedia (16.8%), Reddit (18.4%), Dzone (13.0). Twitter accounts for only 9.5% of and Facebook just 6.9%.

Some of the slightly strange referrers here cast a few doubts on the legitimacy of this research. But if true, the relatively low referrers from Twitter and Facebook perhaps confirm the suggestion that B2B marketers are unsure or wary about how to use these more consumer-focused networks for business.

Elsewhere, a survey by Digital Marketing Agency White Horse finds B2B marketers are keeping pace with their B2C counterparts in the adoption of social media, but wide acceptance hinges on executive support. The research indicates that B2B social media usage is gaining on B2C: 86% of B2B marketers are using social media, compared to 82% of B2C. However, the degree of engagement varies significantly: 52% of B2C marketers are engaged in daily social media marketing, compared to only 32% of B2B marketers.

Interestingly, among B2B marketers, 46% cited “perceived irrelevance” as an obstacle to internal approval, compared to only 12% for B2C marketers.