B-to-B Marketers Leaving Social Media in the Cold
A new study from Accenture, Making Social Media Pay: Rethinking Social Media’s Potential to Bolster B2B Interactions, Customer Loyalty, Revenues and Brand Reputation, found that a majority of B-to-B companies aren't using the full potential of social media despite a strong opinion that social media is important to their business.
Of the 212 B-to-B marketing executives surveyed, only 8 percent feel their company extensively leverages social media, despite the fact that 65 percent claim social media is an important part of their marketing strategy. Only 5 percent integrate social media with other marketing initiatives, while 26 percent admitted to being slightly or not engaged at all with social platforms.
Twenty-four percent of the respondents said their company has invested in social media. The following reasons were given for their investment in the channel:
- to increase engagement and create positive customer experiences (60 percent);
- influence brand reputation (59 percent);
- create new revenue opportunities (52 percent);
- respond to customer demand (40 percent);
- reduce costs (25 percent); and
- keep up with what competitors are doing (24 percent).
Yet 19 percent of respondents said they have no confidence in their investment. Twenty-three percent blame their CEO, claiming he/she wasn't convinced of the long-term success of social media as a marketing channel. Confusion surrounding the return on investment for the various social platforms is also a factor. Only 11 percent said they have a program in place to measure and track the ROI of their social media activities.
"It’s clear that B-to-B companies think social media can make a big difference to business; however, few have a social media plan in place that will help them achieve results, and many are still not sure what those results should look like,” said Kevin Quiring, managing director of customer relationship management at Accenture, in a company release. “Companies need to be able to make a clear connection between social media and broader customer initiatives while clearly defining and measuring results.”