Industry Adopts Social Media for B2B, Consumer Intel

It’s safe to say there is now a consensus that any consumer-facing company should have some kind of social media presence, from the smallest independent coffee shop to the largest consumer packaged goods company. But now industrial manufacturers are also embracing social media for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer applications, according to a survey of industrial companies of varying sizes by Thomas Industrial Network.

Overall 68% of small and midsize industrial suppliers are using social media to engage with prospects, including marketing their products and services, generating leads, answering questions, conducting research, and gaining new business. Among industrial buyers surveyed, 56% recommended that suppliers establish a social media presence to make it easier to do business. However, suppliers are still catching up: less than half (41%) use social media provide information, 27% use it to find new prospects, and a mere 20% use it to research what consumers are saying about their companies.

To help suppliers get up to speed, TIN also revealed a new Social Media Program which enables them to reach prospects through LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, Facebook, and Google+; the program offers services from setting strategic goals to creating unique content for each company.

Meanwhile advertisers are forging ahead, according to the results of a separate survey from The Creative Group. TCG found that 53% of advertising and marketing executives said they expect to increase their investment in Facebook this year, versus just 4% who said they would decrease the investment and 38% who said there would be no change. 

Similarly, 43% said they would increase investment in Twitter, versus 5% who said decrease and 45% who said no change. For LinkedIn the numbers were 38% increase, 5% decrease, and 47% no change; Google+ was 41% increase, 5% decrease, and 43% no change. 36% said they expect to increase spending on YouTube, versus 5% who expect to decrease, and 50% expecting no change.

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