Generating more leads is a B2B marketer’s biggest challenge, with 61% of marketers ranking it as their top issue in 2013.

With dozens of different B2B demand generation tactics, how do you decide which strategy is worth your time?

B2B marketers use an average of 13 different marketing techniques, social media being the most frequently used. 87% of B2B marketers put forth some sort of effort on social media last year, indicating that most marketers understand the value of social sites.

Here’s a few more social media statistics you need to know, and what they mean to your business.

66% of B2B marketers say that lead generation is one of the benefits of social media marketing.

What it means: Up from 61% last year, more and more marketers are seeing social media’s power to generate demand for their product or service. This increase indicates that marketers are seeing social media as a viable demand generation tool, as opposed to a place to share company new releases and awards.

49% of B2B marketers rank social media marketing as the most difficult lead generation tactic to execute.

What it means: B2B marketers see the value of social media for lead generation, but are having trouble taking the next steps. Take time to write out a social media plan for your company to help streamline the execution process.

To get started, write out a few relevant messages for your blog posts for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter then take time to think of responses for anyone who comments or retweets. Once you get a feel for how it works, schedule out posts for the next few weeks.

44% of B2B marketers have generated leads via LinkedIn, 39% have generated leads through Facebook, and 30% have done so through Twitter.

What it means: While LinkedIn still reigns supreme for B2B social media lead generation, Facebook and Twitter are holding their own. Facebook and Twitter are generally seen as the more B2C social media sites, but don’t discount them yet.

All three sites can build brand awareness through different dynamics. Share images or articles with a short insight on Twitter and use Facebook to share articles and start a conversation with your readers. Both sites can take a lighter tone than LinkedIn, so don’t be afraid to show your fun side!

80% of social media conversions for B2B marketers come from LinkedIn.

What it means: As we stated above, LinkedIn is still converting the most readers to leads on social media. The study this stat is pulled from explains that a vast majority of LinkedIn leads come from posts in discussion groups, so branch out from your company page!

Find a few LinkedIn groups related to your industry and test out posting a few articles. Write an insightful takeaway and end with a question to start a discussion with the other readers. You can post your company articles too, but don’t spam the group and try to make it all about you.

54% of B2B marketers have generated leads with social media marketing and 40% of those who generated leads have generated revenue.

What it means:

Don’t forget to follow up! It’s easy to say that your social media strategy isn’t working if you’re not following up with your leads.

Be sure to follow up with them in an appropriate manner and answer any questions they may have. Value your social media leads and you may find yourself with a new customer.

Measure Your Progress

Like any other marketing initiative, don’t forget to measure your success.

80% of marketers using social media are using some sort of metric to track their progress. Common metrics other B2B companies are tracking are likes, clickthrough, reach, or conversions - these metrics can help you see what’s working and what isn’t.

Don’t be discouraged if your results aren’t what you would like to see right away. It will take a while to build brand presence on any social site - as long as you’re posting things your customer want to read, you’ll start to see positive results.

Mark Yolton of SAP explained, “Social media marketing is no longer a nice to have—it’s a must have. Our customers expect it. Our competitors are all doing it. And unless we embrace and excel at social media marketing integrated into the full marketing mix, we’ll be at a competitive disadvantage.”

How to attract and sell to more customers using your website