Posted April 16, 2013 3:28 pm by with 13 comments

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social media benchmark infographicIf all of the business to business marketers could come up to the front of the room please? Now, could you raise your hand if you think Twitter is the number one social platform for business?

Hmm…wow, B2B Marketing is right. 85% of you chose Twitter as your number one social platform. LinkedIn? A close second with 82%. YouTube and Facebook? 77% and 71%. Finally, Google+? (Quick count) Yep, 36%. That’s actually higher than I expected so go Google.

The numbers come from the Social Media Benchmarking Report summary and infographic produced by B2B Marketing in association with Circle Research.  Unfortunately, I can’t see the full results or the data on how many people they polled so I’m going by the data they presented on their site which includes this:

  • Twitter and LinkedIn activity has doubled.
  • Video content most popular on social media
  • Social media monitoring usage has risen

It’s good that more marketers are using monitoring tools but apparently they’re all still a little iffy when it comes to social strategy. Only 38% said they had a defined course of action. 1% were flat out honest and said they had no idea what the questioner was even talking about. And a whopping 61% chose “ad-hoc.” In other words, they’re flying “seat of pants.” Oh social media. . . you’re so loveable and yet so perplexing.

To go along with this, 44% said they can’t calculate the ROI with social media.

30% claim they can do it “some of the time” and 9% say they can calculate ROI “all of the time.” Is that even possible?

I was happy to see that the number one measure of success was traffic to the website and not number of followers which came in second. Even though this was a B2B survey, lead generation came in fourth on the list. So, not a high priority.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Now it’s time to pull out the old crystal ball and look into the future. Which social network will be the most important a year from now?

The fog is clearing. . . . it’s Google+! Wow. That’s incredible and strange. . . isn’t it? The survey participants said that Google+ will be 3 times as relevant in 2014 as it is now.

What do you think about that? I think the only way Google+ will become relevant is if Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn start charging for access. But then, who am I to argue with an inforgraphic?

From B2B Marketing’s 2013 Social Media Benchmarking Report

  • Marc Razia

    “I think the only way Google+ will become relevant is if Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn start charging for access”

    Great article but I think your above statement puts you in a class of media/bloggers who are still in denial about G+. Consider that G+ is 20 months old and is already closing in on Twitter in terms of active users and is relevant enough to be in the social discussion. Every quarter G+ has grown steadily despite being called a ghost town by media pundits. This is the same pattern that occurred with Android and you can verify that by looking at articles as recently as 2010 that called it a flop and a total failure.

    I am not suggesting G+ is a guaranteed winner in the long run but its time to accept that the influence of Google is powerful enough to make this a very realistic proposition. When we then consider that Google can utilize the cross benefits of integrating Android, Chrome, YouTube, Gmail, Blogger, Play Store, Analytics and some other very successful Google entities these are things that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have no answer for in the long run. I’d bet on Google and thus G+ no matter what those other networks do.

    • Very well said.

    • Janeile Cudjoe

      Furthermore, G+ is also important when it comes to search, localization and online reviews. While this may not seem important to B2B it most certainly is as communities look to keep money local. The “Buy Local” movement is growing in my city, and local businesses look to support each other to grow the struggling local economy.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful reply but I don’t believe my response is as knee-jerk as many we see in the press. Google+ is on the move, that’s true. But for it to become MORE influential for B2B than Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? I’m on Google+ and except for Google itself, I don’t see anyone conducting business. I looked up four companies that I do business with on a regular basis just now. 1 has an active page. The other three have pages with no posts and a handful of followers.

      There are probably industries that are more well-represented than others but I’m in entertainment and media – if I can’t find that on Google + that’s not a good sign.

      • Marc Razia

        I agree with everything you just said except the premise that an assessment of G+ today is an indication of where it will be in the next 2-3 years. At 20 months old G+ is an infant by social media standards. Consider that it took 4 years for Facebook just to surpass Myspace. G+ is already making an impact and can only be considered unsuccessful if you compare it to a ten year old Facebook. But isn’t that a bit like comparing a recent college graduate to Warren Buffet and calling him/her poor?

        While you may not find the level of entertainment on G+ that you can on FB (yet) that doesn’t mean its not there. The top 2 people followed on G+ are Britney Spears and Lady Gaga both who each have 7 million followers. Again, that may not be Facebook numbers but it is surely significant for 20 months of existence.

        The growth patterns of G+ are every bit as rapid as those experienced by Facebook, only G+ has staying power. People (such as myself) are not just using the site because people are there, we use it because it adds value by adding social elements to other Google products. For instance I don’t need my friends to use Gmail or Youtube for me to find them valuable. Yet Facebook is the opposite. If my friends are not on Facebook what reason is there to even use it? That would scare me if I was a Facebook executive.

        • jctmpt

          “The top 2 people followed on G+ are Britney Spears and Lady Gaga both who each have 7 million followers.”

          The numbers are wrong. Britney Spears and Lady Gaga have 6.2M each — not 7.0M. Just like Google Inc., you exaggerate facts to make Google+ look better than it actually is.

          Larry Page has 5.4M followers — which makes me think that the real “active” user count is about 10M — which is made up of rabid hard-core Google fanboys and fangals — plus Google employees.

    • Roger

      One thing that I think will have substantial impact on the growth of G+ is the api. This is considering that I am not mistaken on the G+ api giving read only access. If correct, once there is a read/write api it is my opinion that G+ will grow much faster.

  • Not surprising at all. Twitter is for all practical purposes the planet’s mood ring. Google+ and LinkedIn are increasingly where serious conversation / knowledge transfer is happening.

  • Emmanuel Bourmault

    Like +Marc Razia said Google+ is going to be more and more popular and will certainly be number 1 in 2-3 years.
    Facebook is trying to clone everything that Google+ is doing with less success, but they stay years behind Google+ in term of technology and Google+ is improving his technology at a very fast rate. And FB won’t be able to follow, they won’t be able to have the power of Google Login with all features (like installing phone app) or Google+ Hangouts that with only this makes FB look ridiculously retarded.
    And the thing is that more and more people are switching from FB to G+ because of its features, and at one moment FB will just fade away like Myspace.

  • Interesting post. Though it is not impossible for G+ to catch up with FB, Twitter, and other similar sites – this wouldn’t be happening anytime soon (as in years). FB has millions of active users who originally joined and continue to use it because it is a social site. Active users of Google knows it as a search
    engine with the young generation of users not even knowing what G+ is. This is based from a personal standpoint but as a SEO person and on a SEO POV, traffic generating social media sites – FB is the one giving out the most juice – am using and compares the result with Google’s WT.

  • The G+ demographic skews young (18-34) and male. So if your B2B business targets that group, you will need to consider making the move in the next year or so (or at least including it as a priority). If not, I wouldn’t say never …. but 2 years is a long time in social media and there’s always a chance there will be a new disrupter.

  • As an artist with a camera, I find g+ and the communities much more vibrant and engaged than the groups on fb. FB feels closed off and less open than g+, which is built around search and openness FB requires to many clicks to be connected and follow updates from people or brands, etc.

  • jctmpt

    Google Inc is a creepy company.

    It reads your emails, tracks your movements, know your medical history, and know the password of all your bank accounts. It sends your personal information to Apps developers — strangers all over the world from China to Pakistan.

    It dupes consumers into opening Google+ account and call them “active” users to inflate Google+ numbers.

    You can not trust Google Inc. Do not be fooled by this company’s PR antics.