In today's digital, constantly-connected world, social media is just as important for B2Bs as it is for B2Cs. But according to new research from social media agency Immediate Future, more than half (58%) of B2B marketers don't rate their ability to measure social media one bit.
That's pretty worrying when you think about it. If more than half of B2Bs are failing to even measure their efforts, what else are they failing at when it comes to social media? The Drum recently pulled apart the findings in more detail...
According to Immediate Future's CEO, Katy Howell, the report reveals a "widening gap" between the B2B marketers who have mastered social measurement and can make a real impact on their bottom line, and those who are "struggling with the basic metrics."
Of the 150 senior-level B2B marketers surveyed, just 33% are tracing their sales on social. Which is frankly bonkers when you consider that, of those who do, sales are being driven upwards of £50,000 per month.
Despite the fact that social is clearly proving to be a lucrative endeavour, more than one in ten didn't even seem to care, with 13% suggesting that social media measurement is neither important nor unimportant!
If you look more closely at their responses, it's clear that there are more underlying issues at the heart of this 'who cares?' attitude towards social media. As Howell explains, there is a lack of investment in skills, resources and technology – quite simply, it isn't being made a priority.
For many survey respondents, time is the biggest hurdle. After that is a lack of tools, followed by insufficient technology integration.
The report also reveals some interesting stats about social selling and lead generation. While 61% of B2B companies are actively generating leads through social, for example, nearly all of them (90%) aren't able to set targets.
The good news is that senior marketers seem optimistic about the future state of social measurement. Some 67% are confident that their ability to measure social will improve over the next two years, and 50% plan to increase their investment in budget and resources over the next 12 months.
Howell explains that the disconnect and confusion surrounding social media measurement makes investment difficult to chase or justify; but B2B marketers are committing themselves to social, and are investing more in identifying which metrics provide the most value for their business.
As the saying goes, in life (and in B2B marketing) you get out what you put in. If you aren't willing to invest in social, you aren't going to reap its many rewards.