Follow The Lead

Social channels online are on fire

We can forgive b-to-b sales and marketing executives for being skeptical about doing a deep dive into social media. The lack of ROI (not to mention the constant hype) has prevented many companies from investing real money into social networks. But it may be time for b-to-b companies to reconsider. In the last week or so there has been a flurry of reports showing that social sites are starting to influence the buying process.

Andrew Gaffney, editor and publisher of DemandGen Report, provides a solid wrap up of the studies. These studies include a report from technology blog TechCrunch on the expanding role social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are playing in sharing widgets and applications. Incorporating data from Gigya, which powers widgets on more than 5,000 sites, TechCrunch found that the distribution of shared items broke down as follows: Facebook (44%), Twitter (29%) Yahoo (18%) and MySpace (9%).

A separate report from found that Facebook has surpassed Yahoo as the number-two most popular site (behind Google) in the U.S., with nearly 134 million unique visitors in January 2010.

While there may be a knee-jerk reaction that social networks cater more to consumer precincts, social sites are demonstrating that they can generate business purchasing.  According to the BtoB Buyer Transformation Survey, more than 20% of buyers connected directly with potential solution providers via social channels and 37% posted questions on social networking sites looking for suggestions and feedback as part of their research process.

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March 17, 2010 - Posted by | Social Media Marketing | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I’d like to add:

    As social sources become a prominent resource for companies and individuals researching products & services you cannot hedge your bets on instant ROI.

    Like any good marketing strategy / program it needs to be nurtured and cultivated, those who get in early will have a HUGE advantage of those who watch the wave roll by.

    Don’t put a toe in the water, jump in and formulate a strategy, more importantly a process or you’ll find yourself feeling overwhelmed!

    As with anything else, the more you do it the easier it becomes!

    Consider automation services like to measure your social success.

    Comment by Ramon | March 17, 2010 | Reply

  2. I’m still evaluating for our business, but the topic has become a constant discussion at management meetings. We have been leveraging social media for recruitment though… and what a great response we’ve had!

    Comment by John Leavitt | March 17, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] Indeed, Facebook recently surpassed Yahoo as the number-two most popular site (behind Google) in the U.S., with nearly 134 million unique visitors in January 2010, according to […]

    Pingback by Get your head in the cloud « Follow The Lead | April 9, 2010 | Reply

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