Will social media be part of your 2012 business plan?

Most business people we know have started to use social networking. LinkedIn and Facebook are used by even the most hard-nosed business leaders of today.

But how many have a strategy to integrate social networking into their business?

Circle Research and B2B Marketing teamed up to find out the answer. As Andrew Dalglish, Director of Circle Research states, is social media a case of the ’emperor’s new clothes’?

Let’s find out what they found…

– 78% of responding B2B organisations are already conducting social media activity, while another 19% are planning to introduce it within the next year.

– Only 25% of B2B companies have devised a strategy for social media.

– 20% have completely integrated their social media activity with the rest of their marketing, while 30% say integration is limited.

– Only 6% have allocated a dedicated social media marketing manager.

– 22% of B2B organisations currently assign a specific portion of their budget to social media.

– Almost 75% of B2B companies spend less than ten per cent of their budget on social media. They expect to increase investment in the next 12 months.

– Twitter and LinkedIn appear to be the most popular social networks among B2B brands. They are also regarded as the most useful social media platforms. Facebook and YouTube follow not far behind.

– B2B companies predict that of the four leading networks, only YouTube will acquire more relevance within the next year.

– 62% have not used any advertising or commercial services from social networks at all to date.

– Among respondents, in terms of ‘net effectiveness’ social media was only deemed more effective than ‘print’ or ‘online ads’.

So, whilst social media is clearly a growing activity within a B2B marketing mix, does it pay?

In financial terms, the picture is cloudy. Only 21% can consistently demonstrate ROI from social media investment.

What is your strategy for social media? Will you be one of the early(ish) adopters, or will you wait, perhaps too late, to get on board?

Market report available from Circle Research and B2B marketing here

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