Social media marketing had significant impacts on lead generation and transactions in 2012.

Digital marketing reaches consumers throughout the sales cycle. Brands can tailor media to resonate with prospects searching for new products or services, or they can develop campaigns that target buyers closer to the conversion edge. However, as companies learn more about digital channels and the avenues that generate the most new leads and sales, social media networks begin to stick out more prominently than most other outlets.

Social Spending 2012According to the Content Marketing Institute, 87 percent of B2B brands and 84 percent of B2C organizations use social networks to engage with new and existing customers online. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter help businesses distribute a wide array of branded content that sparks conversation on the web and leads to transactions. As 2013 edges ever closer, brands may want to discover which networks appear to be most successful for their peers. Webmarketing123’s “State of Digital Marketing 2012” report provides brands with overviews of today’s most popular social channels.

Social ROIThe source noted that lead generation, sales increases and greater brand awareness were top objectives for both B2B and B2C marketers, and data suggests social media marketing can achieve all of those goals. Currently, B2B and B2C brands divide their social media budgets up differently, allocating varying percentages to platforms that provide the most return on investment. Business-facing organizations funnel 40 percent of their budgets to Facebook, 39 percent to LinkedIn, 30 percent to Twitter, 14 percent to Google+ and 6 percent to Pinterest. Consumer-facing brands put 65 percent of their budgets to Facebook, 23 percent to LinkedIn, 39 percent to Twitter, 17 percent to Google+ and 14 percent to Pinterest.

It’s clear that both B2B and B2C companies prefer to use Facebook over other networks, while the subsequent order of popular networks varies depending on target audience. For example, B2C companies have little interest in LinkedIn, similar to how B2B brands leave Pinterest out.

Webmarketing123 also outlined the volume of new leads versus the percentage of sales generated by each network for both B2B and B2C brands. For business-facing organizations, Facebook generates 39 percent of new leads and 19 percent of sales, while LinkedIn gets 44 percent of potential new customers and 23 percent of sales. Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest marketing also contributed to B2B success, but at a much lower level. Consumer-facing brands benefited from Facebook and Twitter the most, with Facebook generating 67 percent of new leads and 39 percent of sales. Twitter produced 43 percent of new customers and 19 percent of sales.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.