My customers are not on social media.
B2B leadership echoes this sentiment across the country when asked about the relevancy of social media to their customers. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and forums are dismissed as not relevant destinations for their target consumers.
This sentiment stems from the perception that social media channels are purely social and retail or B2C oriented. When asked where B2B leaders get information supporting this perception, the answers are typically based on personal experience or “years in the industry.”
People listen to people and value the opinions of experts. A thought leader talking about the latest trends in an industry holds more weight than an advertorial. As Harvard Business Review notes, the goal of any business supplier should be to uncover and understand end-user struggles and identify if barriers exist. Finding direct, simple ways to connect with those expert opinions is a priority for decision makers.
The data supports that B2B buyers are finding those connections, that knowledge, on social media. Metric Centric analyst rounded up five data-driven insights for B2B leaders to consider:
- FACT #1: 55% of B2B buyers say they search for product/vendor information on social media. (Source: Meltwater)
- FACT #2: 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level or vice-president level executives use social media to make purchasing decisions (Source: International Data Corporation)
- FACT #3: 37% of B2B buyers asked questions on social media sites when looking for suggestions (Source: Jeff Bullas)
- FACT #4: 83% of B2B marketers use social media, making it the most common B2B marketing tactic (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
- FACT #5: 79% of marketers said they saw increased traffic with as little as 6 hours a week invested in social media marketing (Source: Social Media Examiner)
B2B purchasing decisions are more complex, affect a larger set of individuals, and have a bigger business impact. Multiple people are involved in the overall B2B decision-making.
Social media leads to heightened brand awareness and it can be an effective marketing channel during the B2B vendor selection process. It makes sense to connect with industry thought leaders across social channels to share ideas, ask questions, seek feedback and collect opinions.
The key is to use social media as a way to deliver engaging content to the right decision makers at the right moment of their buying journey.