With so many companies surveying enterprises on their social media use and ROI expectations for this channel, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. But, Chief Marketer’s new Social Marketing survey offers a complete view of business attitudes about the major platforms in the social media space. The findings include good details on the differences between B2C and B2B operators and an interesting twist on the future of Facebook.

94% of B2C enterprises use Facebook, making the platform the top B2C social media channel. B2C companies also favor Twitter (76%), video sites (45%), Pinterest 39%) and Google+ (32%).  In the B2B universe, 85% of surveyed companies use LinkedIn, making this the top B2B social media channel. Facebook and Twitter are both used by 77% of B2B operators and 42% also use video sites. Google+ has made inroads here, too, with 26% of surveyed companies using this site.

Virtually all marketers have some kind of social media presence now or plan to within the next year. The reasons for this investment range from offering multiple touchpoints (84%), to reaching customers where they spend time (62%), to going where customers expect to find them (56%). Specific goals for social media programs are: driving web traffic (56%), generating leads (43%), and finding and engaging with brand fans (37%).

Enterprises are not exactly finding social media marketing inexpensive or easy. For example, 42% of marketers complain that the potential for new leads on Twitter is outweighed by the need to always generate new content. LinkedIn has been trying to build its content promotion platform for the B2B sector. While the firm may be having some success in this area, 41% of surveyed B2B marketers say that the LinkedIn membership is far more interested in career networking. And then there’s Facebook. The company is rushing to find new ways to appeal to marketers in order to rescue its stock price. Marketers are using promoted events, target posts and display ads on Facebook. But when businesses are asked which social media platform they believe will be less important next year,  the most frequent response in the Chief Marketer survey “by a factor of about x3 was Facebook”.

Answers like these should give social media platform providers food for thought. This is a competitive space and one which marketers may quickly tire of if they find it too difficult and expensive to manage.

[Source: Quinton, Brian. Social Marketing Survey. Chiefmarketer.com. 2012. Web. 9 Oct. 2012]