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B2BMarketing-Net-Change-in-Social-Platform-Usefulness-Apr2013While only 9% of B2B marketers (primarily from the UK) currently consider Google+ to be their most useful social media marketing channel, 29% believe it will be so in the next 12 months, according to results from a B2B Marketing survey. The researchers indicate this is part of a wider shift towards content-focused platforms, with Slideshare (+10%) and Pinterest (+5%) also seeing a positive net change in perceived usefulness over the next year. By contrast, more popular platforms such as Twitter (-26%), LinkedIn (-20%) and Facebook (-13%) are slated for a net decrease in usefulness.

That perceived shift towards content-based platforms comes amid heightened interest in content marketing among B2B companies. In the US, a recent survey of B2B content marketers found social media to be their most commonly-used tactic, by 87%, although just 49% found it effective. Social media use was slightly more popular among UK content marketers (used by 90%), and was also rated as effective by a slightly higher proportion (54%).

While social media is an important platform for B2B companies, separate results from the B2B Marketing survey indicate that these companies struggle with the same sorts of problems seen in other verticals. Namely, only 38% have a defined strategy, and just 1 in 10 feel confident that they can calculate ROI most (9%) or all (1%) of the time.

Other Findings:

  • Twitter is the most popular platform, used by 85% of respondents, followed closely by LinkedIn (82%), YouTube (77%) and Facebook (71%). Google+ is used by just 36% of respondents.
  • The top 3 social media objectives among B2B marketers surveyed are: driving traffic to the website; building brand and positioning; and strengthening thought leadership.
  • Respondents most commonly measure their social media success by looking at website traffic, number of followers, content downloads, and leads generated.

About the Data: The report, produced by B2B Marketing in association with CIrcle Research, surveyed 234 client-side marketers (mainly UK respondents, which is reflective of B2B Marketing’s historical audience).

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