I must confess that, in some areas, I am a social media naysayer. For business-to-business marketing, I have had my doubts as to the return on investment from social networking. Then I uncovered new research from Forrester Research that shows that B2B customers are active social networkers, or at least they are tracking the conversation, especially in the technology sector. I have posted the high-level findings from the Forrester survey and the numbers are self-explanatory:
What’s really interesting is that there is a huge percentage of business buyers who are listening, but not participating. The research shows that 91 percent of decision-makers are spectators who are reading blogs and watching user-created videos, participating in social media, but not actively posting. Of these, 69 percent say they are using social media for business purposes. Only 5 percent are “inactives.”
There are a large number participating in social networking – 55 percent. Of these, 43 percent are creating their own content by blogging, uploading videos, posting articles, etc. And he level of business participants is especially high.
So is social media beneficial for B2B marketing? You betcha! You have to be focused in your approach. Choose the right social media vehicles and be clear about your objectives and your brand. But business professionals are still people, so the same behaviors apply. If you are engaged in B2B marketing and have not engaged in the online conversation, you are late to the game.