digital marketing, social media marketing, b2bB2B marketers will go anywhere and everywhere to get leads. It’s what keeps six out of 10 of them up at night: generating leads is their biggest challenge, according to data released this month by eMarketer.

Survey Says: Social Media Is It

Chasing the best leads today means deep analysis of how businesses are using social media. Businesses must find target audiences on social media, build social channels, listen to social conversations and simply know where potential clients are hanging out most: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, professional blogs, professional association Websites, etc.

The eMarketer collection of data and analysis -- “B2B Social Media Lead Generation: Best Practices for 2013” -- confirms that by 2014 almost half of B2B marketers will be either “very involved” with social media marketing (37%) or fully integrated and centering their marketing on social media (10%). Those numbers represent a jump from analysis in 2012 that had 6% fully integrated and 26% “very involved.”

Online Trend: I’ll Have What She’s Having

We know social media marketing is here to stay. And many companies are crediting marketing avenues like Facebook and LinkedIn as brand boosters.


According to the eMarketer data, online communities and professional associations lead the way (47%) in terms of the types of content B2B decision-makers worldwide find most valuable. Industry groups and organizations was second at 46%.

Professionals are networking on social media sites, going to LinkedIn “groups,” Facebook commentary and other social media avenues to get opinions on business purchases. More than one-third said they trust recommendations from associates and peers for the most valued content, and another 23% specifically cited social media. 

So it’s no secret why B2B marketers are tracking these online communities and getting hooked on -- even if email is still king for digital marketing avenues for B2B professionals (64% vs. 42% for social media).

Social Media Marketing Best Practices 

So where should B2B marketers be in social media marketing campaigns? The report by eMarketer cites some best practices. Here are a couple:

  • Get LinkedIn: For quality, this is the place to be, or at least to start, it seems. Facebook and Twitter can create a lot of buzz and traffic, but how meaningful are they to your organization’s exposure and ultimate bottom line? LinkedIn is seen as the professional mainstay for B2B marketing, but check all social media avenues -- Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. -- and identify which will be best for exposure, lead generation and revenue generators.
  • Use social for CRM: Social media can be the ultimate customer-engagement center when used effectively. White paper and ebook offerings are a great way to gauge who you are talking to. Ask them direct questions before they receive their download to target their roles in the industry.