Are you trying to figure out your social media strategy for reaching B2B buyers who are purchasing technology? LinkedIn isn’t your only option. Eccolo Media recently took an in-depth look at what social media channels, types of content and strategy work best to attract B2B technology buyers. Here’s what they found:
B2B business owners aren’t taking advantage of the power of social media to reach potential buyers. Some 38 percent of respondents in the survey say they didn’t see any vendor content on social media in the last six months that helped them make a decision about technology purchases.
Looking forward, B2B tech buyers also show a preference for Facebook. When asked where they’d likely go for vendor content to get help with a future technology purchase, 51 percent say Facebook, compared to just 40 percent who’d go to LinkedIn. This is a reversal from last year, when 27 percent would use Facebook and 39 percent would use LinkedIn first.
In recent years, B2B buyers have shown a growing trend toward doing a lot of pre-research online before they ever contact a vendor. This trend is continuing, with 67 percent saying that they use social media content to help them in the earliest stages of the sales process. Just 25 percent say social media is most helpful in the middle of the sales cycle (identifying possible solutions and/or vendors), and only 9 percent say it’s most helpful when they’re actually choosing the final vendor or product.
Last, but not least, what kind of social media content do B2B tech buyers refer to most when considering a purchase? Case studies or success stories are far and away the most popular, cited by one-fourth of buyers. Technology guides/white papers (16 percent each), podcasts/emails (13 percent each), blogs/infographics (12 percent each) and videos/product brochures or spec sheets (11 percent each) are far behind.
What do these results mean to you?
- Focus your social media efforts on the early part of the sales process. Social media content is most useful when buyers are either not fully aware of a need, or have just identified a need and are doing preliminary research.
- If you’re not putting B2B content on Facebook, start now. Facebook is clearly becoming more valuable in the B2B sales process than it used to be.
- Show buyers how your products or services can help them by sharing case studies or success stories. Real-life examples that humanize the problems your company can solve are a great way to attract attention on social media—the dry details can come later once you’ve gotten the buyer’s interest.
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Maria Valdez Haubrich
Maria Valdez Haubrich is Chief Liaison Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.