Business-to-business marketers are underutilizing social media and its potential, according to new data from Eloqua, a marketing automation company. Of 548 b-to-b marketers surveyed by Eloqua, about 40 percent say they are not yet using social media marketing. Additionally, about 25 percent of respondents say they don’t know how their company plans to use social media marketing in the future.
Although many departments may contribute to social media, respondents say that social networking platforms are most often managed by a public relations department (26 percent), followed by a variety of departments (23 percent) or a website team (11 percent). Still, about 23 percent of respondents say that social media is not under the control of any one department.
About 43 percent of respondents say that their company has no strategy in place for incorporating social media into demand generation. About 20 percent said a lack of tools prevent them from using social media for lead generation and another 33 percent say a lack of strategy is attributed to an unclear understanding of the value of social media.
Business-to-business companies that are using social media platforms for a variety of reasons:
- 83 percent use social media to create awareness for their company or brand.
- 56 percent use social media to get visitors to share messages socially, broadening reach.
- 55 percent use social media to increase trust by accumulating social followers.
- 32 percent use social media as an outbound marketing channel for demand generation.
- 22 percent use social media for a better understanding of market perceptions of their own brands and or products.
In the future, b-to-b companies expect a variety of benefits from social media, with most respondents (50 percent) saying it will help to increase reach and brand awareness. About 35 percent say driving inbound leads to increase revenue will be a benefit of social media, with 28 percent saying social networking will benefit their company when it comes to measurable impact on demand or revenue.
This data reinforces the notion that b-to-b marketers still need help when it comes to the social networking space—something that content producers can assist them with. Publishers should look to expand marketing services groups to have a strong focus on social media, which will help publishers position themselves as a unique solution to a need in the marketplace.
T. J. Raphael is Associate Editor of FOLIO: Magazine. Follow her on Twitter.