B-to-b marketers apply analytics to social media

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B-to-b organizations are well along in their measurement of social media. This was just one of many findings in a just-completed survey by BtoB and the Web Analytics Association.

The “B-to-B Web Analy-tics Survey” found that nearly half (48.3%) of respondents are already measuring social media. This finding seems to map with another clear interest among the survey respondents—reputation management. Nearly a quarter (24.3%) said they planned to increase their budgets this year to monitor public sentiment.

“It's 1993 all over again,” said Jim Sterne, chairman of the Web Analytics Association and author of “Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment” (John Wiley & Sons, 2010). “Everybody knows that social media is important, but it's so new that only a few are measuring its business impact with any sophistication.”

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Sterne added: “Knowing who the influencers are is far more important and powerful for b-to-b firms than for consumer-facing companies.”

Alex Langshur, president of PublicInsite Web Analytics and current president of the WAA, said the survey brought forward three themes: “The desire to have a more integrated view across all channels, a jump in investments to measure and understand the impact from mobile and social media, and that the skills shortage remains acute.”

According to the survey, social media measurement was higher than mobile measurement (17%) or video measurement (14%). The highest score for a tracked marketing channel was Web sites (88%), followed by e-mail (76%).

The online survey, conducted from Jan. 21 to Feb 12, collected 679 responses. Of these, more than two-thirds (69%) said their company's marketing was primarily b-to-b; the balance of respondents said their business was a combination of b-to-b and b-to-c. M

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