How does your 2012 social media spending compare to spending levels at similar companies? Is your B2B social media strategy based on hard data, or guesswork? It’s often hard to know how to budget effectively, but two new reports may help marketers with their B2B social media strategy for the remainder of 2012 and beyond.
Forrester analyst Kim Celestre just published a new research report titled “Social Media Amplifies Your B2B Buyer’s Experience“. The $499 report is filled with new data on how business to business marketers (primarily those who sell technology products) view social media, as well as how business buyers view it. One timely bit of information from the report is a chart showing how B2B marketers are budgeting and spending on social media. The report also contains excellent data on developing a B2B social media strategy that’s based on an understanding of how your customers view social media and how it affects their buying decisions.
Celestre’s report says that 52% of B2B marketers plan to increase their investment in social media, and 40% plan to spend the same this year as last. That’s an interesting detail in light of another report out this week in which General Motors pulled its entire Facebook advertising budget because of a lack of results — while Ford stepped up its spending. Obviously, there’s no direct comparison — GM’s campaign was B2C, not B2B — but the media has been buzzing all week with opinions about whether or not social media advertising actually drives revenue and sales for corporate marketers.
Venture capitalist and marketing expert Amanda Maksymiw of OpenView Venture Partners wrote this week that B2B companies without a clear plan for social media spending are likely to wind up spending way too little, or way too much. “With over 800 million active users on Facebook, more than 300 million tweets sent daily, and one hour of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s easy to get carried away and let everything just pass you by,” Maksymiw says. ” The truth is, B2B companies can’t afford to overlook a solid social media strategy.”
Maksymiw’s article goes on to link to a series of tutorials and best practices tips prepared for the portfolio company that her firm has invested in, as well as data that she gathered from a panel discussion she moderated at a recent conference. Links for all of Maksymiw’s resource materials on developing a solid B2B social media strategy are available here.