We’re all aware that social media marketing is popular, particularly between brands and users.
However, a study by BtoB magazine indicates that social media marketing is now becoming increasingly popular among business-to-business brands. Perhaps that shouldn’t really come as too much of a surprise: more a simple logical progression. Neither should we be surprised by the fact that the professional-friendly social media site, LinkedIn, is cited as the top platform for many of the study’s respondents. It is, after all, the site of choice for professionals and businesses.
The survey is called ‘Emerging Trends in B-to-B Social Marketing: Insights from the Field’.
Now that hardly trips off the tongue, but I suppose it does what it says on the tin. The study reveals that social marketing in the B2B community is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. Ninety-three percent of B2B marketers are already engaged in some form of social outreach at the moment, because the majority of respondents believe that social media marketing supports their branding efforts.
When asked for the best social media channel, LinkedIn emerged as the clear B2B favorite, being cited by more than a quarter of respondents (26%). LinkedIn’s popularity, according to the survey, lies in the fact that it is particularly strong for generating leads. These results confirm what many experts had already knew: that is the steady rise of LinkedIn as a business-friendly social channel. It might not make the headlines as often as Facebook or Twitter, but never the less it has been quietly working away under the radar, and gathering new members and picking up momentum. The site has seen a surge in B2B sign-ins, and it recently hit the 100 million-member mark.
What’s made this possible is the launch of its own new social search features and its custom news aggregator (LinkedIn Today). These additions have made LinkedIn a viable content-sharing platform. With the launch of its latest feature, LinkedIn Polls, this popularity will only increase further. LinkedIn Polls is a new feature that will allow marketing group administrators to conduct polls of the group’s membership and aggregate the data automatically.
Ian McCarthy, principal product manager at LinkedIn, reported on the company’s blog that using LinkedIn Groups to ask questions centered on a specific industry will prove to be a useful and effective feature and will aid a business’ social media marketing strategy. The new LinkedIn polls feature will make it easier for businesses to get insight from their contacts on social networks. According to McCarthy, LinkedIn group members have been asking for a tool to generate conversation and engagement for some time. The new polling tool makes it simple to pose questions to professionals that brands hope to do business with, and then aggregate this feedback to update offerings, promotions and content accordingly. On top of that, the polls feature will help marketers create conversations with business buyers.
For marketers, social media marketing can be problematic without a clearly defined method of collecting data and measuring its effectiveness.
As platforms unveil new tools to get feedback from users, marketers will be able to make strategic decisions regarding their campaigns as well as their product and service developments moving forward.