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B2B Social Media a Necessity

Instead of reading a company’s brochures and going through their website, people read customer reviews and watch YouTube videos to find out more information about a company and its offerings. But you will be surprised to know that 54% of Chief Information Officers still ban the use of social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at the workplace (Source: Earnest Agency). Is there a disconnect between how the top management and middle management perceives social media? Here are some solid facts about how social media has changed B2B buying and selling which will help you bridge that gap.

Helps buyers make decisions

A study by IDG Connect found that 86% of B2B IT buyers use social media networks in their decision-making process. This means that if tech vendors do not make use of multiple social channels to reach out to their customers and distribute valuable information, they will be less likely to engage buyers’ in that crucial decision-making process.

Crucial to discovery

With Google+ posts becoming a part of search results, there is a gradual re-uniting of search and social which is something marketers cannot ignore.  55% of B2B survey respondents search for information on social media (Source: MediaBistro), so if you want your customers to discover you, it is crucial to have social media activity especially on sites such as Google+.

Drives revenues

A study found that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. (Source: State of Inbound Marketing) Companies that are still devoting large amounts of funds towards outbound marketing along need to re-visit their strategies and include social media if they want to efficiently manage their leads.

Helps build trust

Trust is the currency of B2B buying and selling and every B2B marketer understands that. Social media presence and activity is important to building trust as your customers and prospects view you as a transparent and engaging brand when you have a presence online. Social Media can improve relations with employees. 82% of employees say they trust a company more when the CEO and leadership team communicate via social media (eMarketer). That speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

B2B buying and selling is changing and social media is at the center of all this change. Your customers, employees and all stakeholders are now online expressing opinions, venting frustrations and the only one who loses out by not having a social media presence is YOU. It is not a matter of choice to be social anymore.

Do you think B2B social media is a necessity? Let us know why in the comments below.