In terms of lead generation, 47 percent of these companies said Facebook has helped them find new prospects, LinkedIn aided 35 percent and 34 found leads through Twitter. Similarly, 41 percent said they generated sales from Facebook leads, 21 percent from LinkedIn leads and 20 percent from Twitter leads.
The survey shows current investment in social media marketing is expected to grow, which makes sense as the channel is proven as direct driver of sales, web visibility and prospect engagement. B2B respondents currently invest 10 percent of their marketing budgets in social, while B2C businesses direct 15 percent to the channel. Small businesses hoping to catch their fair share of social leads and sales should similarly plan investing in the channel.
Moving forward, 60 percent of companies say they are likely to spend more on social in 2012. At the same time, 46 percent said they want to learn more about social media marketing to better leverage the technology as it evolves.
With B2C companies, Facebook is by far the most popular platform with 75 percent saying they are most active on it. Nine percent report Twitter receives most of their efforts, and 6 percent reported LinkedIn was No. 1 for social media marketing. B2B companies resulted in a more event split between Facebook (35 percent), Twitter (26 percent) and LinkedIn (25 percent).
ContentLEAD reported earlier this week that B2C business owners are likely to leverage social aggressively during the final quarter as part of their holiday shopping initiatives. Using the platforms to answer questions and respond to client and prospect feedback can help businesses attract customers and improve their reputation.