We often have partial themes for a week of articles and this week it seems to be facebook.  In this article we’ll look at some numbers released by hubspot.com (a great affiliate marketing blog, by the way) that examine the relationship between facebook and its use for businesses.

42% of marketers say that Facebook is critical to their business.  This number is impressive on its own, but consider that in 2009 that number was 24%.  This constitutes strong, steady increase in the importance of facebook to businesses.

A staggering 77% of business to consumer (B2C) businesses said they have acquired customers from facebook.  43% of B2B businesses make the same claim.  I would have to say that I did not expect the number to be that high.

So you were saying to yourself, “yeah that’s all retail business, right?”  And yes, you are right.  Retail is the top industry for recruiting customers (90% have found customers via fb.)  But, tech/software is no slouch.  50% of tech companies say that they have garnered customers via facebook.  That’s no small number.

The bad news for affiliate marketers is that the largest weakness identified by fb marketers was lead generation.  Most marketers agree that increased exposure and increased traffic are the two major benefits, but lead generation still lags behind as a benefit.

Additional bad news for fb is that for every nine posts, only one person shares a post.  The lesson here is to gather a large following.  It’s the law of large numbers.

There are positives and negatives in the report for affiliate marketers.  But it seems that a well-constructed facebook plan will in fact deliver traffic over time.

To increase the likelihood of this, Hubspot recommends cross-pollinating (our words, not theirs) your social media.  Ask twitter followers to follow you on facebook and vice versa.  An integrated social media campaign will generate better results.