Business-to-business (B2B) companies are participating in the social space, but they are not yet as engaged as their business-to-consumer (B2C) brethren and face greater internal obstacles, according to a report from digital marketing agency White Horse.

Comparable numbers of B2B and B2C marketers were not doing any social marketing at all, but business-oriented firms were much more likely to say they had social media accounts but little marketing activity.

Graph showing social media engagement

One reason: More than one-third of B2B marketers surveyed said there was low executive interest in social media in their company, compared with 9% of B2C marketers who said the same. Overall, about one-quarter of corporate marketers told White Horse they needed to learn more about social media to justify investment in the space, but the issue was more pressing for B2B respondents.

Fully 46% of B2B respondents said social media was perceived as irrelevant to their company, while only 12% of consumer-oriented marketers had the same problem. B2Bs also reported a much greater preference for traditional marketing tactics.

There was also a large disparity in the proportion of B2B marketers who said they were not measuring social success at all, at 34%, versus just 10% of B2C respondents.

Graph showing methods used by B2B in social media

Other studies have shown that B2B marketers are more effective at measurement because they focus on outcomes that matter to their bottom line, such as lead generation.

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