According to industry surveys, B2B prospects use social media to make purchasing decisions, and B2B marketers have found certain aspects of social media effective in their marketing and sales efforts.
(Each point below is referenced with a link to the studies or data supporting them)
2. More than 86% of B2B companies market with social media. 32% use it daily.
What Works For B2B Marketing & Sales, And Why?
3. B2B marketers find these channels to be most effective, in order: LinkedIn (65%), Blogging (63%), Twitter (53%); and Facebook and YouTube are tied for 4th place (47%).
4. More than 45% of B2B companies surveyed have acquired a new customer from LinkedIn. More than 43% from their blog.
5. Facebook fans are almost 3x more likely to engage with brands, 3.5x as likely to purchase, and their cost per customer acquisition is one-third of non-fans.
6. Social media exposure to your brand makes people 2.8x as likely to search for you in Google, and 50% more likely to click your paid search ads.
7. B2B marketers use social media for brand building (80%), thought leadership (54%), lead generation (47%), customer feedback (42%) and advertising (39%).
8. B2B sales people are increasing their usage of LinkedIn (47.8%), Blogs (21.8%), Facebook (20.8%), Twitter (17.3%) and YouTube (8.4%).
Are B2B Purchasers Using Social Media For Research?
9. 35% of B2B prospects use LinkedIn information in the purchasing decision-making process. 31% regularly follow blogs in their industry. 46% use industry forums, and you could create and grow a LinkedIn group that takes advantage of that.
10. Businesses prefer, in order, webinars/podcasts (69%), reading corporate social media pages (62%), company blogs (55%), and searching social media sites (54%).
11. Forget social media for a minute; across B2B, prospects expect B2B suppliers to quantify the benefits and value, give them proof points, and perhaps point them to third-party validation of the value of their offerings. 90% of corporations require quantifiable proof of bottom-line benefits. 65% of buyers don’t have the knowledge or tools to make value assessments. 81% expect vendors to quantify the value of their business solutions. Only 8.1% trust vendors; they trust industry analysts (31.4%) and peers (28.7%) much more. You can use social media to communicate your benefits and value and to reach these more influential groups.
Social Media B2B Best Practices
12. You need a network of connections, groups and pages in order to distribute interesting content to prospects. Viral doesn’t just happen. You can’t go viral if there’s no one to infect. Your content must be interesting or useful. Create blog posts, tools, podcasts, white papers, and videos with attention grabbing titles. Content is central to starting conversations, creating introductions and proving value.
13. There is a proven 6-step process for relationship building. Don’t just skip straight to the sale.
14. You can get niche or mainstream PR several ways; by building relationships with journalists, advertising to them, or “trickle-up” PR. In the same way, you can reach out to industry analysts and buyers’ peers, who are influencers on the purchasing decision.
15. For awareness through advertising, Facebook is best. Cost per thousand ad views (CPM) in digital advertising ranges from $2 – $4 at its lowest. Facebook ad views cost $1 – $2 or less per thousand ad views.