B2B Marketers Have Little Social Media Engagement

May 28, 2010

Almost 60% of B2B marketers have little or no engagement in social media, according to a recent study by digital marketing firm White Horse.

B2B Marketers Less Engaged than B2C
The results of “B2B Marketing Goes Social” indicate that while some B2B marketers’ social media engagement statistics are similar to those of B2C marketers, overall B2B marketers are less engaged in social media than their B2C counterparts.


A combined 59% of B2B marketers have only a basic social media presence (45%) or are not actively engaged in social media marketing (14%). In contrast, a combined 44% of B2C marketers have only a basic social media presence (26%) or are not actively engaged (18%).

B2B Execs Have Low Interest
Results indicate that both B2B and B2C marketers have difficulty with executive social media buy-in. However, a much higher percentage of B2B marketers (36%) report low executive interest than B2C marketers (9%). Twenty-three percent of B2B marketers report their executives are curious but need education, compared to 39% of B2C marketers.


Another 27% of B2B marketers say executives support the use of social media but are not actively engaged, as do 39% of B2C marketers. Interestingly, the two groups converge at the top level of having executives who support and are actively engaged in social media (14% of B2B and 13% of B2C).

B2C More Involved in Almost Every Type of Social Media
Usage of social networks is essentially among between B2B and B2C marketers, and B2B marketers are somewhat more engaged in podcasts and slightly more engaged in third-party forums.


However, B2C marketers are more engaged in every other type of social media tracked by the survey. The difference is most pronounced in utilization of user-generated content and least significant in utilization of company blogs and hosted forums

Differences in Social Media Obstacles
Survey results indicate that while a sizable percentage of both B2B and B2C marketers have little or no social media engagement, the obstacles they face are somewhat different. The three leading obstacles B2B marketers face are insufficient personnel to maintain (about 50%) and a three-way tie between lack of organizational knowledge, preference for traditional marketing and perceived irrelevance to their field (about 45% each).


Interestingly, insufficient personnel to maintain is also the top obstacle for B2C marketers, but was selected by a much higher 65% of B2C respondents. This was followed by a three-way tie between lack of organizational knowledge, need to prove ROI, and concerns over negative feedback (about 50% each).

Social Media Aids Customer Acquisition
Many B2C and B2B companies are successfully using social media networks to acquire customers, according to the “State of Inbound Marketing Report” from internet marketing firm Hubspot.

When social media customer acquisition figures are broken out by B2B and B2C companies, it becomes clear that B2C companies generally obtain much more value from their social media marketing efforts. Fifty-one percent of B2C companies have acquired a customer from Twitter, compared to 38% of B2B companies. The difference is most stark in customer acquisition figures for Facebook, which 68% of B2C companies have obtained a customer from but only 33% of B2B companies.

When it comes to professional social media network LinkedIn, however, the usefulness trends reverse. Forty-five percent of B2B companies have obtained a customer from LinkedIn, compared to only 26% of B2C companies. Figures for company blog customer acquisition are closest in range, with 57% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B companies obtaining a customer through this channel.

About the Data: In March 2010, White Horse conducted a survey of 104 corporate marketers across a range of businesses about their companies’ use of social media marketing.

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