B2B Companies Neglecting Social Media Marketing

B2B marketers can use many channels to reach their target audiences, especially social media. However, many businesses do not have a social presence, according to a new report by Eloqua. The company found that 36 percent of firms do not use social media for marketing purposes.

The report also found that different departments head social media marketing. More than 25 percent of B2B marketers said PR/communications handles this job, while 23 percent said the duties are shared between multiple departments and 11 percent said the website team takes care of it. Roughly 23 percent said social media does not fall under any one branch.

Social media is an effective tool for B2B marketers looking for ways to connect with other companies. Eloqua found that 83 percent of firms use the platform to generate more brand awareness, 56 percent do so to share messages and 55 percent to gain more trust with their audience.

Perhaps unsurprising, however, is that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the most popular social media websites. The report said that 80 percent of firms that use social media marketing have a Facebook presence, followed by 78 percent that do so for Twitter and 51 percent for LinkedIn.

Social media No. 1 platform for content marketing

A separate report by CMI found that social media is crucial for content marketing initiatives, which are used by more than 90 percent of B2B marketers. Social media was used by 87 percent of organizations surveyed, followed by website articles, electronic newsletters, blogs and case studies.

The smallest organizations surveyed have an average of 11 marketing channels, while the larger firms have approximately 18.

Content marketing appears to be a popular choice among B2B marketers, according to CMI. Overall, businesses are spending 33 percent of their marketing budgets in this area, which is a 7 percent increase from 2011. Another 54 percent of participants said they expect to allocate funding for content marketing beginning in 2013.

B2B marketers looking for ways to get the most out of their campaigns should consider adopting marketing automation software. Industry professionals agree that these solutions help businesses keep track of their marketing success so firms receive a clear return on investment.