Which Social Media Networks are Better for B2B and B2C?


All social media is good for marketers, but each medium is beneficial for its own reasons. Each social media network allows for marketers to reach a different user base and each one allows for different types of marketing. It all depends on what kind of users are using the networks, be they everyday consumers or business executives. On that note, a survey shows the differences in success of certain networks regarding business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales and leads. The results are in no way surprising, but they may show you that you are definitely focusing your marketing efforts in the right direction.

In a study performed by WebMarketing123, entitled, “2012 State of Digital Marketing,” the company lays out a comparison in lead generation and sales between a few social media networks. The chart given shows that, of the leads generated in B2B marketing, 39% were accounted to Facebook, while 44% were credited to LinkedIn. In third place, Twitter accounted for 30% of B2B leads in 2012. The pattern for sales was not much different at all. LinkedIn brought in 23% of B2B sales gained from social media in 2012, while Facebook only brought in 19% of B2B sales. Twitter stayed in third for this category too, with 14% of sales credited to the network.

For B2C marketing, however, the numbers were substantially different. For leads in B2C, Facebook led the race with 67% of marketers saying that they generated leads on the network. Twitter took second place in B2C marketing, with 43% of marketers crediting leads to the network. LinkedIn fell far behind in B2C, taking third place with 21% of leads.

Sales in B2C followed suit, just as they did with B2B marketing. Facebook accounted for 39% of social media sales. Twitter rung in 19% of social media sales, giving it second place once again. LinkedIn, however, barely took third place in front of Google Plus with 9%.

In a separate chart showing what networks marketers are spending money on, however, shows that B2B marketers don’t quite have their priorities straight. A total of 40% of surveyed business-to-business marketers said that they focused their spending on Facebook in 2012, while only 39% said LinkedIn. The difference is not huge, but with the results that LinkedIn has brought for B2B marketing, it should definitely be ahead in ad spending. Business-to-consumer marketers are doing quite well with their spending, as 65% focused their spending on Facebook, and 39% on Twitter. Those networks leading the way in leads and sales for B2C are the ones receiving the most attention.

LinkedIn was made for the business world, which is exactly why it does so well for business-to-business marketers. Facebook, the network that everyone is on, is where marketers find the most consumers, so of course its numbers are high in that area. The more important thing that this study shows is that B2B marketers may be focusing a bit of their attention on the wrong network, when they should really be aiming for their actual target. Facebook has a lot of business type users, but it isn’t really where people go to think about business.

What's your opinion?