It is that time in the year again. As we head toward the end of 2016, marketing budgets and planning for the new year will begin to take focus. While we realize that successful B2B marketing programs leverage a combination of investments, social media needs to remain in a part of that mix.
According to Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, “B2B Content Marketing 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” report, social media is tied for second (40 percent), in terms of tactics that B2B marketers believe to be critical to content marketing success in the new year.
More importantly, as detailed in my presentation for Supply Chain Management teams this past October, social media is an increasingly important tool for defining marketing ROI.
Per data from Salesforce’s 2016 State of Marketing report, thirty-nine percent of marketers report significant ROI generated from social media marketing, compared to only nine percent in 2015.
While these numbers still infer challenges, year over year increases indicate that B2B marketers are getting more sophisticated in connecting the dots between social media execution and marketing performance.
Hopefully, the performance metrics associated with your organization’s social media marketing programs have yielded success and validation for further investment as well.
But regardless, here are more than 30 different insights from various surveys and benchmark reports, organized by overarching theme, we recommend for reviewing in preparation for developing B2B social media marketing budgets and program goals for the new year and beyond.
Social Media Strategy and Budgeting
- Social media adoption has also grown 10% year over year (+219 million) and social media access via mobile device adoption has grown 17% year over year (+283 million). (source)
- 82% of marketers agree that social media marketing is core to their business. (source)
- 84% of high-performing marketing teams align their social media marketing strategy with other social activities such as customer service. (source)
- Social media spend will account for 20.9% of marketing budgets (10.6% currently) across industries in the next five years. (source)
- 63% of marketing organizations now have social media teams (up from 49% a year ago). (source)
- Facebook (95%), Twitter (74%), and LinkedIn (66%) are the most commonly used social media platforms for B2B enterprises. (source)
- 84% of marketers surveyed intend to increase their video marketing budget over the course of 2016.
- 83% also agree that videos are effective in meeting content marketing goals. (source)
Social Media Advertising
- 86% of marketers surveyed leverage paid and organic strategies for social media marketing initiatives.
- 59% of respondents agree paid social is more effective than organic social.
- Two-thirds of marketers turn to Facebook first for paid social media, and about one-third are leveraging YouTube and Twitter to advertise. (source)
- Sponsored social media effectiveness trumps traditional marketing tactics. According to the data, marketers gave sponsored social media advertising an effectiveness rating of 7.29, which was ahead of online display (6.55), TV ads (6.46) and radio ads (5.65). (source)
Social Media Tactics
- B2B marketers are increasingly turning to social media channels as a key tool for distributing content. 27% surveyed indicated that social media as an “indispensable” channel for content distribution in 2016. (source)
- Social media websites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, are heavily used among Fortune 500 businesses. About 86% have active Twitter accounts, and 84% have active Facebook pages.
- LinkedIn leads all social networks with 97% of enterprises claiming they have an account on this specific social media platform. (source)
- 73% of marketers set to increase their video usage on social media. (source)
- B2B brands are able to develop large audiences on LinkedIn, but are not engaging those followers as much as on other social media platforms.
- B2B brands receive 20 times more engagement on Instagram than LinkedIn, despite having smaller audiences. (source)
- The “2016 Social Media Industry Index” from TrackMaven has determined that the engagement ratio for brands was 10 times higher on Instagram than Facebook during the first half of 2016. (source)
- The majority of B2B software and business services companies (approximately 50%) surveyed consider their LinkedIn marketing strategy to be a success. (source)
- For PR professionals and SEO link building considerations, more than half of U.S. journalists – 58% – say social media is “very important” for interaction and 62% feel it’s a critical channel for publishing and promoting content. (source)
Social Media Challenges
- 56% of marketers that have a small (or nonexistent) social presence do not have the resources to create one.
- Additionally, more than half of the respondents with a presence claim that they do not have integration between their social media channels and their marketing and sales systems, which is noted as a significant contributor to ROI. (source)
- 45.5% of respondents in a separate survey stated that they could not quantify the revenue attributable to social media. Securing budget (38%), tying social to business goals (33%) and tracking results (27%) were also named top obstacles by social media marketers. (source)
Social Media In China
- Social media application WeChat, has more than 700 million monthly active users and more than half (61%) are opening the app 10 or more times each day.
- More than 560,000 businesses have official WeChat accounts as well.
- The top three uses of WeChat Official Accounts (business accounts) are information release (84.7 percent), marketing campaigns (64.1 percent), and client interactions (45.8 percent). (source)
- 76% of China’s mobile users actively share through social media platforms. (source)
- There are 275 million monthly active users on the Chinese social media app Weibo, in the second quarter of 2016, representing an increase of about 75 million since 2015. (source)
Future of Social Media
- 84% of global shares are dark (defined as the social sharing of content that happens outside of what can be measured through analytics tools, like email and instant messaging). In the U.S. specifically, dark shares account for 79% of total shares on social networks. (source)
- 78% of enterprises view social media as more important than other digital marketing tactics. (source)
- A survey conducted by the DMA and the Winterberry Group shows that data-driven marketing (DDM) confidence levels indexed at 4.44 on a 1-to-5 scale (5 reflecting the strongest confidence in data-driven marketing practices) in the second quarter. This indicates that many of the marketers surveyed believe that DDM is well-positioned for future growth. (source)
- Personalizing the customer experience is the most important goal for 70 percent of data-driven marketing strategies. (source)
- Social media spend will account for 20.9 percent of marketing budgets within the next five years. (source)
Don’t forget to stay up to speed on social media benchmarks and trends through our industry news coverage as well as activity in Twitter and LinkedIn in particular. We’re hopeful these resources help B2B marketers continue to define social media marketing initiatives this coming year and beyond.
Did we miss an important or mission-critical piece of research? We’d love to hear your comments and feedback via comments below.