Social networks a B2B selling tool

Online social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn are increasingly being used as advertising channels for firms seeking to boost their B2B business, a new survey shows.

Online social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn are increasingly being used as advertising channels for firms seeking to boost their B2B business, a new survey shows.

A recent eMarketer survey shows that spending on display, rich media, search, widgets applications and other online advertising on social networks targeted at business customers is expected to lift 169% in 2008 to $US40 million.

That impressive rate of growth is likely to decline somewhat in the following years, but it is still expected to top $US210 million by 2011.

Social networks focused on a particular occupation, for example IT workers, are proving particularly popular as they present a kind of backdoor channel to purchasing decision makers in firms.

But more general social networks are also seeing a big increase in B2B advertising, according to eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson.

“Even Facebook has become a de facto B2B social network,” Williamson says, “simply because so many business executives have joined it in the past year.”

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