A September 2009 MarketingProfs survey of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers found that the marketing tactics most often used on social sites are not necessarily the best ones.
The most common marketing tactic used on Facebook was attempting to drive traffic to corporate materials through status updates, followed by friending customers.
But the most effective tactic for consumer-oriented companies was creating a Facebook application, which was done by less than one-quarter of total respondents. Both B2B and B2C companies also reported surveys of their fans as effective; fan surveys were the third-most-common tactic attempted.
Unsurprisingly, buying ads—even targeted ones—was the least effective type of social media marketing overall.
Like those on Facebook, marketers using Twitter were also most interested in increasing traffic. Driving traffic by linking to marketing Webpages was the most common activity on the microblogging site, followed by driving sales by linking to promotional pages. But again, the most effective tactics were different.
B2C marketers had the most success with monitoring Twitter for PR problems (done by one-half of all respondents) and contacting users who posted negative comments about their brand (done by only 22.4% of total respondents). B2B companies also succeeded with brand monitoring, as well as with using Twitter invites for in-person events (the least common tactic of all).
Though some firms, such as Dell, have reported success in the area, the study found that driving sales was the least effective marketing tactic attempted by companies using Twitter.