Staying on top of social media and networking trends is essential for B2B marketers. Forrester Research predicts, “B2B companies will spend $54 million on social media marketing in 2014, up from just $11 million in 2009.” via eMarketer. Data and research are key to forecasting and strategy development but not many B2B companies invest the time and effort into such initiatives outside of link-baity Infographics.
Luckily, there are many analysts and agencies that serve the B2B Marketing industry that do conduct regular research into topics like social media marketing.
Here are 5 meaty reports published in 2011 that can help B2B marketers understand the direction new media and social media is taking in terms of overall strategy, industry trends, unique audience and application differences between social media platforms and measurement.
B2B Tech Marketing and Social Media: Which Social Media Channels Reach Tech Buyers? Schwartz Communications. This report focuses on B2B tech marketing and which social channels do tech buyers engage. There’s a lack of strategy in most B2B social media efforts and understanding of unique focus and appropriate use for each distinct social channel. This report covers specific social media platforms for B2B including: Blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Report link (Slideshare) Updated link 01/23/12 – old source was disabled.
The Infinite Dial 2011: Navigating Digital Platforms. One of the keys to approaching social media strategy for B2B marketing programs is to understand industry trends. Since 1998 Arbitron and Edison Research have conducted a nationally representative survey focusing on trends in digital platforms exploring the expanding digital media and communications landscape. This new report includes data from 2011 and covers numerous platforms used in B2B social media marketing from Smartphones to iPads to Facebook. Report link (pdf)
2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report - How marketers are using social media to grow their business by Michael A. Stelzner of Social Media Examiner. This report looks at both B2B and B2C social media and how they differ including time of use (B2B have used social media longer than B2C), which tools are used (LinkedIn, Video & Blogs) and even SEO (B2B marketers are more likely to use SEO). Report Link (pdf).
Social Media for B2B Marketing from B2Bento (Asuthosh Nair & Jaspreet Sidhu). This report covers why social media matters for B2B, tips on planning strategy, conducting research and establishing guidelines. It also proves b2b social media marketing examples including a product launch, demand generation & customer retention. Of course there’s also advice on monitoring and measuring results. Overall a good B2B Social Media primer. Report link (pdf).
Emerging Trends In B-to-B Social Media Marketing: Insights From the Field from BtoB Intelligence Center. This report is not free ($149) but chock full of charts (sample pdf) and insights into the current state of Social Media Marketing for B2B by answering questions about budgeting, strategies, tactics, metrics and integration. Specific attention is paid to dominant social channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Customer Communities and YouTube plus the all-important ROI. Report landing page link.
What new reports on B2B social media marketing have you found to be useful? (paid or free). What sub-topics would you like to see covered?