The Social Media Marketing Report 2011, presented by the Social Media Examiner, indicates that marketers who invest in social content are reaping the rewards of new leads and business partnerships.

Survey: Social media marketing = Leads and sales

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The Social Media Marketing Report 2011, presented by the Social Media Examiner, indicates that marketers who invest in social content are reaping the rewards of new leads and business partnerships. The survey asked more than 3,000 marketers about the impact of social marketing, and CMOs may be happy to learn that improved sales were a commonly cited benefit.

Nearly three-quarters of marketers who have been using social media for around three years (72 percent) say that their social efforts have helped them close business deals. Increased sales were also a benefit for more than half of marketers who spend 11 or more hours per week on social marketing.

While many social sites are deemed B2C-friendly, B2B brands will be pleased to learn that new business partnerships are a common result of social marketing. Sixty-one percent of marketers selling to other businesses (and 51 percent of marketers selling to consumers) cited business partnerships as a social media marketing boon.

Social Media Examiner found a correlation between the time spent on social marketing and business partnerships. Still, nearly half of marketers with less than a year of social outreach (45 percent) reported gaining new partnerships.

Sales aside, marketers agree that social media is a valuable forum for finding qualified leads. More than half of marketers (52 percent) say they see lead gen benefits from their social efforts, even if they spend as little as six hours per week on social media.

Social media marketing is poised to be a top priority for brands this year, not only as a channel to bring in leads and sales, but also as a means of boosting other internet marketing efforts. As Brafton has reported, this same study shows that social marketing boosts search and traffic, and Google's Matt Cutts has repeatedly advocated the use of social marketing to boost SEO efforts.

Katherine Griwert
Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.


  • Subramanian Manikandan Balasub

    Interesting find from the research report. However, typical problems of a b2b marketer or a sales executive remain. For example, the social media of today does little to shorten the sales cycle times in the b2b space and also they lack in the ability to reach multiple stakeholders of the sale i.e users, influencers and decision makers. Further, even in the active lead followup process, it sometimes becomes so awkward to ask your prospect why he / she is not buying.

    Next, from the customer support perspective too, the existing social media is not all that friendly to capture any positive comments to enable you to flaunt them as “testimonials” and negative ones to support tickets.

    So, the need of the hour is a “Social media exclusively built for the SMEs to connect and collaborate”. The solution to the above mentioned problems can be best sought from an active business community.

    B2B Marketer – Can filter & find his prospects, follow them to receive updates from them and know when to contact them and what to provide them in order that the sales cycle time be reduced significantly.

    B2B Sales – As a sales person, you need to follow all the potential decision makers whom you think will be involved in your sale and based on the updates you receive from them, you can better understand at what stage of the buying cycle your prospect is in and even know exactly when he / she is likely to proceed with the sale.

    Customer support – A customer support manager can keep track of all the comments about the brand and he / she must be empowered to push the positive comments as testimonials on the b2b social media platform and the negative ones as support ticket resolution.

    Social media for businesses (SMEs)

  • Vizz Media

    Great post. Until recently, people believed that Social Media can be effective only for B2C companies. But its equally fruitful for B2B companies also. LinkedIn is a great service B2B companies are using now a days.