B2B decision makers are the most engaged social media users on the planet,
B2B buyers are the most socially engaged online users across the world.
But, the research appears to back them up.
According to the summary of GlobalWebIndex’s new study, Social Strategy for B2B Marketing:
- Virtually all (98 percent) of the B2B decision makers polled visit YouTube on a daily or weekly basis. 80 percent use Facebook, and 41 percent use Twitter.
- The top three reasons B2B decision makers use the internet are to: stay up to date on new/events, research for work, research/find products to buy.
- Although it varies largely by market, B2B decision makers are much more likely to be engaged in various online activities (uploading photos, commenting on stories, using microblogs, etc.) than the average internet user.
Also –and I found this particularly intriguing –the study found that conversations online are more influential to drive sales than face-to-face meetings. In fact, the data identified the leading influence for decision making as “conversations with people from the company/organization on a social network.” Sales presentations came in second place, followed by advertisements in traditional media and direct mailing with product/company information.
It was also interesting to see some of these results broken down by country. As you might expect, in places such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Singapore (where overall social media engagement is lower), face-to-face meeting are still preferred. By contrast, online conversations appear to be growing increasingly important in Australia, Spain, Argentina and the UK.
Clearly, it makes sense for B2B marketers to step up and start reaching out to their customers and prospects via social media platforms. But, as these results indicate, merely having an “online presence” isn’t enough. Real value comes, as it always has, from developing relationships with your prospects and engaging with them to help solve their problems.