Social media isn’t just about lead generation. While prospective buyers are using search and social to research products and services before making purchase decisions, marketers and PR professionals can use those same tools to research buyer wants and needs. And their competition. Here are some facts you need to know about social media:
Social Media / Social Networking
- The average midsize or large company (1000 employees or more) has 178 “social media assets” (Twitter handles, employee blogs, etc.)–yet only 25% of companies offer social business training to their employees.
- B2b marketers believe social media is critical to organic search success. Marketers rate social media as the second-most imporant factor (64%) in search, behind only strong content (82%).
- Although Facebook is the most important social media lead generation tool for b2c marketers (with 77% saying they had had acquired a customer through Facebook, compared to 60% for a company blog), among B2B companies, LinkedIn was the most effective, with 65% having acquired a customer through the professional network, followed by company blogs (60%), Facebook (43%), and Twitter (40%).
- The best way to “go viral” is to engage millions of users, each of whom share through small networks. “Online sharing, even at viral scale, takes place through many small groups, not via the single status post or tweet of a few influencers…Content goes viral when it spreads beyond a particular sphere of influence and spreads across the social web via ordinarily people sharing with their friends…the median ratio of Facebook views to shares (is) merely 9-to-1. This means that for every Facebook share, only nine people visited the story. Even the largest stories on Facebook are the product of lots of intimate sharing—not one person sharing and hundreds of thousands of people clicking.”
- LinkedIn generates more leads for b2b companies than Facebook, Twitter or blogs. Yet only 47% of b2b marketers say they are actively using LinkedIn vs. 90% on Facebook.
- One-third of global b2b buyers use social media to engage with their vendors, and 75% expect to use social media in future purchases processes.
- “Best in class” b2b companies are significantly more likely than average firms to integrate their social media efforts with their email marketing (65% vs. 51%), SEO (61% vs. 49%) and webinars (47% vs. 31%).
- As for “best in class” practices, 51% of best-in-Class companies use website social sharing tools, compared to 36% of average firms while 49% use keyword-based social media monitoring, compared with 39% of their more average peers.
- Top executives need to be involved in social media. 77% of buyers say they are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media. 94% said C-suite social media participation enhances a brand image. And 82% of employees say they trust a company more when the CEO and leadership team communicate via social media.