Social media is playing an increasingly important role in B2B marketing. Buyers are relying more heavily on social media not just to connect with others, but also to learn more about industry news and solutions from brands. Companies invested in reaching their clients and prospective clients on multiple channels cannot ignore the incredible opportunity social networks provide to connect with buyers.
A recent survey of 379 information technology buyers revealed effective content marketing on social media can help B2B develop better relationships with clients. "The Social Bridge to the IT Committee: How Trusted Content on Social Media Builds Relationships with IT buyers," conducted by comScore, Starcom MediaVest and Mashwork, determined that the 15 million IT decision-makers in the country oversee roughly $820 billion in spending. The report highlights that because such a small group controls such a significant amount of power, B2B tech companies must strive to create strong bonds with them.
Connecting with IT buyers on social media
According to the report, 95 percent of professionals surveyed reported using social networks each month for business, and LinkedIn proved to be most heavily relied upon. Respondents' reasons for doing so include their abilities to learn from trustworthy peers, find information quickly and access a broader network, as well as engage in relevant context to connect with vendors. While 68 percent said they're open to connecting with B2B vendors, more than three-quarters stated they're ready to have conversations with goods and services providers.
Social media doesn't just allow buyers to learn about a brand or product. In fact, these networks play a role in each phase of the purchasing process, from initial awareness to planning and implementation.
Achieving success in a competitive space
While the study reveals the opportunities for brands to generate leads and nurture existing relationships via social media are plenty, B2B buyers are very selective when it comes to choosing who to do business with. Only one-sixth of survey respondents reported purchasing goods or services from a new vendor, while 92 percent bought from businesses they already trusted.
Effectively connecting with potential customers on LinkedIn and other platforms requires a healthy mix of several things. For one, thought leadership is a must, as are credibility and relevancy. Additionally, respondents reported wanting a diversity of content coverage news, industry trends and best practices, among other topics.
B2B IT buyers demand high levels of interaction and content quality from the brands they connect with on social. Companies that can deliver these can form lasting relationships that keep sales strong.