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Social media marketing is almost a necessity in its own right for many companies, but efforts in the area can also help boost more traditional online channels like search, according to data from BtoB magazine and Business.com.
Nearly half of US business-to-business (B2B) marketers said their social media efforts had a positive effect on search performance, with the remainder nearly split between “neutral” and “do not know”—just 1% reported a negative effect.
Search rankings are largely driven by the volume of high-quality inbound links a site receives, and at its most basic level, much advice about search engine optimization has amounted to “get more links.” Social media efforts are one way to get those links: Companies must create content compelling enough to get their followers chattering on Twitter or Facebook, which means they are driving inbound links from social sites. Nearly half of respondents indicated this was helpful.
Almost as many reported increasing search rankings for social media profiles.
Only about a quarter of B2B marketers were monitoring social channels for help choosing keywords for their paid search campaigns, suggesting many companies may be passing up opportunities to find out how customers naturally talk about their products and services.
According to the survey, B2B marketers’ No. 2 goal for social media marketing—after building brand awareness—was increasing traffic to a website, which social media’s natural synergy with search marketing is helping to achieve. Their next goal, generating leads, can in turn be reached through both social media itself and improved search efforts, both of which, according to HubSpot, bring in more leads.