Reports on increased B2C spending in social media are nothing new, but according to a report compiled by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and American Marketing Association, social media spend by B2B services are on the rise. Planned social media spend on B2B services in the next 12 months jumped to 11% in 2010, compared to 6.5% of total budget in August, 2009.
Furthermore, year over year increases in social media spend are expected, with CMOs cited in the study projecting that social media will consume over 17% of their total budget by 2015. Much of the spending patterns between B2Bs and B2Cs are similar, with heavy emphasis on branding, CRM and service promotions. Projected B2B spend over the next 12 months to promote company services is even slightly greater than B2C spending for the same category (11% vs. 10.7%).
Much in the same way that B2Cs followed their consumers to Facebook and Twitter, B2Bs are realizing that the decision makers and business executives inhabit the same space. B2B spend in social media is here to stay and planning now to accommodate its future growth is crucial.
What’s not yet clear is whether most B2B’s have clear ROI expectations, or whether they’re making an investment simply because they need to get a foothold in an increasingly important space.