When it comes to social platforms, the one preferred depends on the audience. In its recently released “Social Media Marketing Industry Report,” Social Media Examiner found that 96 percent of B2C marketers cited Facebook as their primary social platform while LinkedIn dominated in the B2B marketing sector with 88 percent.
The study, released in May 2015, analyzed data taken from surveys of over 3,700 B2C and B2B marketers. In it, respondents were asked to identify, in addition to their most used platforms, that which was thought to be the most important, what platforms will be added in the coming year, the benefits of using social media, and the effectiveness of social media.
In addressing the most important social media platform, Facebook led the pack among B2C marketers, easily outdistancing all competitors with 65 percent of the tally. Among B2B marketers, though, it was a different story; LinkedIn was the clear winner, claiming 41 percent of the shares with Facebook following at a distant second with 30 percent. Fewer than 10 percent of B2C marketers identified LinkedIn as important to them.
Surprisingly, Twitter came in third in both categories, with B2B marketers showing a distinct preference for this mode than did the B2B group (19 percent to 10 percent).
Questions about which social media platforms will see changes in use over the next year revealed that:
- Both B2B and B2C marketers (almost two-thirds) plan to increase the use of Twitter and YouTube;
- More than half (60 percent) of B2C marketers plan to increase their Instagram presence; only 40 percent of the B2B crowd will pump up the volume in this area;
- Both sets showed an equal interest in increasing Google+ activities (52 percent); and
- SlideShare use projected for growth, as over 40 percent said they would increase their presence on this platform, up more than 15 percent from last year.
The belief that social media had quantifiable returns jumped five points from last year, with 42 percent acknowledging its measurability. Over half of the B2C marketers (51 percent) think their Facebook campaigns are effective. Among the assessable benefits of social media marketing:
- Nine in ten cited increased exposure;
- Three-quarters identified increased traffic; and
- 51 percent indicated improved sales.
Time appears to be the key factor when it comes to reports of improved sales, as 70 percent of those who have been using social media for at least five years, and those who spend more than 40 hours per week marketing on these platforms report increases. Only 38 percent of those with fewer than five years or those who spend fewer than five hours a week marketing through social media reported increased sales.
Regarding content, the use of visuals and blogging appear most frequently (71 and 70 percent, respectively), with video making a strong showing at just under 60 percent. Blogging is considered the most important of these content modes, followed by visuals, and then video.
Facebook was the clear leader when it came to paid social media, more than doubling distance between it and its closest competitor, Google+ (84 to 41 percent). In addition, both of these channels are expected to see their usage increase by 52 percent for Facebook and 38 percent for Google+. Twitter is also targeted by 31 percent of those in the study.
MarketingCharts. “B2C and B2B Marketers Name Their Most Important Social Platforms,” May 28, 2015