Social Media proves Value, gets Budgets.

Budgets for social media marketing are on the rise, with both B2B and B2C marketers proving they have generated leads and sales from their social outreach.

In its “State of Digital Marketing 2012 Report,” Webmarketing123 found that 52% of US B2C marketers and 41% of US B2B marketers planned to increase their social marketing budgets in 2013, while an additional 46% of B2C and 56% of B2B marketers will keep them the same.

Facebook was the most popular site for B2C marketers, with 65% reporting that they spent money there. Only 40% of B2B marketers said the same of Facebook. However, 39% of B2B marketers spent money on LinkedIn, compared to only 23% of B2C marketers. Greater percentages of B2C marketers were using Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest than were B2B marketers. However, the difference for Google+, which has been popular for technology conversations in particular, was only 3 percentage points.

These investments in social sites are showing results. Two-thirds of B2C marketers (67%) said they had generated leads from Facebook, and 39% said they saw sales as a result of outreach on the site. This was compared to 39% of B2B marketers who reported leads and 19% who reported sales. For B2B marketers, not surprisingly, LinkedIn saw the most success, with 44% of marketers seeing leads and 23% seeing sales from the site.

Corresponding with other recent studies, the report also found that a percentage of marketers were still unsure if social media was contributing to leads (20%) and sales (40%). In order to continue receiving budget approval for social, however, marketers must prove their outreach is producing results, and many will experiment with different metrics and measurement tactics to do so.

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