Business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies may cater to different clients, but they utilize the same social media platforms when attempting to reach those clients.
A new eMarketer report found that 67 percent of B2C businesses and 29 percent of B2B businesses say that Facebook was the most important social media platform on which to market their business. LinkedIn tied Facebook in effectiveness among B2B businesses. Both B2B and B2C businesses were also in agreement about the effectiveness of blogging platforms and Twitter as they were rated the second and third most important platforms, the research found.
Both B2B and B2C businesses also utilized YouTube, Pinterest and Google+ to a lesser extent than Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs. However, nearly 70 percent of businesses say they plan on increasing their use of and efforts in using YouTube as a marketing platform.
Overall, nearly 80 percent of businesses say they have incorporated social media marketing into their marketing efforts.
Those businesses have turned to social media to market their businesses for a number of reasons, but the predominant reason among 89 percent of business owners is to increase exposure. Additionally, three-quarters of businesses say they hope to increase traffic while 69 percent of businesses hope to gain insight into their customers. Other businesses utilized social media to develop loyal fans, generate leads, improve search rankings, grow partnerships and reduce marketing expenses. Just 43 percent of businesses say they use social media marketing to improve sales.
However, businesses appear to be learning the potential benefits of social media marketing quickly, the research suggests.
"Even as social media may seem like old hat to many marketers by now, quite a few are relatively new to the platforms," the eMarketer report said. "About one-quarter of marketers said they had been working with social media for a year or less. And another 30 percent were one to two years into their social media marketing tenure."
The eMarketer report was based on research by Social Media Examiner, an online magazine.