In its “State of Digital Marketing 2012 Report,” Webmarketing123 found that 52% of US B2C marketers and 41% of US B2B marketers planned to increase their social marketing budgets in 2013, while an additional 46% of B2C and 56% of B2B marketers will keep them the same.
Facebook was the most popular site for B2C marketers, with 65% reporting that they spent money there. Only 40% of B2B marketers said the same of Facebook. However, 39% of B2B marketers spent money on LinkedIn, compared to only 23% of B2C marketers. Greater percentages of B2C marketers were using Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest than were B2B marketers. However, the difference for Google+, which has been popular for technology conversations in particular, was only 3 percentage points.
These investments in social sites are showing results. Two-thirds of B2C marketers (67%) said they had generated leads from Facebook, and 39% said they saw sales as a result of outreach on the site. This was compared to 39% of B2B marketers who reported leads and 19% who reported sales. For B2B marketers, not surprisingly, LinkedIn saw the most success, with 44% of marketers seeing leads and 23% seeing sales from the site.
Corresponding with other recent studies, the report also found that a percentage of marketers were still unsure if social media was contributing to leads (20%) and sales (40%). In order to continue receiving budget approval for social, however, marketers must prove their outreach is producing results, and many will experiment with different metrics and measurement tactics to do so.