LinkedIn has traditionally been the social media leader when it comes to B2B online marketing, but according to the latest reports, Twitter is close on its heels.
BrandWatch, a firm that focuses on how B2B marketing campaigns can optimize social media sites, recently released the “B2B Social Media Report,” which collected data from more than five million companies and figured out which social media platforms are used and mentioned most often.
According to the study, Twitter is the most popular site for B2B brand mentions, with 73% of the companies in BrandWatch’s study appearing — by name — on Twitter. The runner-up is Facebook, although only a measly 13% of companies had their brand named on the site.
The study also found that 47% of companies have one account and 25% have multiple accounts for the same brand, although 42% of respondents admitted that they either didn’t have an account or didn’t use it at all.
It’s difficult for B2B marketers to measure how effective social media marketing really is in the B2B industry, which causes many B2B suppliers to abandon social media strategies altogether. Even though B2B marketers who use Twitter generally have twice as many leads as marketers who don’t use Twitter for B2B campaigns, it’s difficult to determine whether those extra leads are actually quality ones that will convert into sales.
For the B2C marketplace, social media websites are invaluable for promoting products, especially because companies are able to capitalize on trending topics and events, and even take advantage of small celebrity endorsements.
But for B2B vendors, the “consumers” aren’t swayed so easily by trends. In fact, a March 2015 survey conducted by KoMarketing Associates found that 45% of B2B buyers do not use social media at all to select a B2B supplier. Even content-based marketing strategies, like creating and maintaining a blog, was labeled “not a factor” by 46% of respondents.
The disconnect here is clear, especially considering how much B2B marketers typically emphasize the importance of listening to buyers.
Or, perhaps more companies are starting to use Twitter knowing that it might not have a big effect on lead generation because it’s simple, it’s free, and there’s no harm in using it.
Regardless of how Twitter is affecting B2B right now, it seems likely that this social media platform will continue to be an important presence in B2B exchanges.