April 30, 2013 by stevenmacdonald
The Social Media Benchmarking report has just been released with research into the state of social media in 2013. The report, created by B2B Marketing and Circle Research uncovers why B2B marketers use social media, how you use it and how you measure social media success.
The key findings from the report are:
• The number one reason to use social media is to drive traffic to website
• Twitter is the number one platform for social media marketing
• 61% of B2B marketers have an “ad-hoc” social media strategy
• 44% of B2B marketers are unable to calculate their ROI
• B2B marketers believe Google+ will be 3x more important in 2014 than now
This blog post will look into the key findings and why you should be getting started with Google+.
Why use social media and what channels do you use?
The three main reasons why B2B marketers use social media are:
1. Drive traffic to website
2. Build branding a positioning
3. Strengthen thought leadership
87% of B2B marketers use social media to promote your message and social media is the most commonly used marketing tactic to engage with your audience.
Twitter and LinkedIn activity has doubled in recent months and more businesses are now investing in social media monitoring tools in order to understand its impact to the business.
The report found that 85% of B2B marketers choose Twitter as the number one social platform, followed closely by LinkedIn and YouTube. Video content proved to be the most popular form of social content.
What is the ROI of social media?
When asked to describe their social media strategy, more than half (61%!) said their social media strategy was “ad-hoc”, which is the same as saying it’s non-existent. 39% of B2B marketers said that they had a defined course of action.
Even with a social media strategy, many organizations are not able to calculate the ROI of their social efforts, with only 30% saying they could calculate the ROI “some of the time”. 44% said they were unable to calculate the ROI of social media.
Without being able to calculate the ROI, how are marketers able to measure social media success?
When asked this question, the respondents answered with (in order):
• Website traffic
• Content downloads
• Lead generation
With so many organizations using social media on an “ad-hoc” basis and not monitoring their social media activity, it’s no wonder that so many social media strategies fail.
The importance of Google+
Looking ahead, the report found that most B2B marketers believe that Google+ will be the most important social platform within the next 12 months.
Google+ was launched in June, 2011 and is the fastest social network to reach 20 million users – A record that took Facebook and Twitter more than 1,000 days, Google was able to achieve in 24 days. Google+, despite being labeled somewhat as a failure or ghost town by much of the media, is now the second most active social media network on the web.
One of the main reasons Google+ has become such a success is the focus and integration that Google has put on the platform. Google+ is not only a social platform but is also incredibly important to search, localization and online reviews. As a marketer, you are behind your competition if you are not yet using Google+ to your advantage. With Google+, the easiest way to get started is to:
1. Create a personal profile
Using your gmail email address, sign up and create a Google+ profile. Fill in all your personal information, add a picture of yourself and share news/ topics that interest you and your business. If someone searches for you in Google, this is how they will find you:
2. Create a business profile
If you have an office location, use this to your advantage and create a business listing on Google+. Follow the same steps as creating a personal profile by making sure it is 100% complete, request and verify your business location and share information about your company. This way, when someone searchers for your business, you can appear in Google as follows:
3. Connect your company blog to Google+
Connect your blog posts to your personal Google+ profile. Sign in to your Google+ account; verify your email address on the author page and then each time your posts appears in Google, your post will display as:
It’s as simple as those three steps and by doing so you will be able to drive more traffic to your blog and website. Have you been using Google+ at your business, and which social marketing platform do you most commonly use? Let’s chat in the comments below.
About Steven: Steven Macdonald has been working with online marketing since 2005. Experienced in online gaming and travel, Steven is currently working on global SEO with SuperOffice CRM and regularly contributes to the Tribes blog.