Why use social media? The business case.
The power has shifted
It’s no longer a case of you putting materials out and attracting customers. 9/10 buyers say they will find you when they are ready and 81% start with a web search (an efficient use of social media does, of course, help your search ranking). Further to this 84% use WOM recommendations, and that’s not chatting down the pub – it’s being involved in online forums and chat rooms.
Customers are out there researching
And your brand, messages and content need to be in the mix. 21% of b2b buyers use social media at some point in the buying process. Many are 50-60% into the buy cycle before they talk to you. And the higher the price of the product the more they will research – if the order value is over $10k they will review 4 or more pieces of content.
Your customers are talking to each other and influencers online
Potential prospects are talking to their industry peers before they talk to you. 58% engage with peers, 48% follow industry conversation and 41% read pieces from thought leaders. Using social media ensures you are part of these conversations
Your customers want you there
Using social media isn’t something you should be doing because you think it is a trend. It is actually something prospects and customers are calling out for. 85% of b2b buyers believe companies should present information via social networks and 20% are more likely to engage with existing suppliers on twitter.
People want content in various forms
It’s not all about going onto a website and downloading a whitepaper. Buyers are searching online for new forms of media to consume to learn about their issue. 80% watch more video than before and 75% watch videos on business sites every week.
Traditional outbound is not always cost effective. Use of content, social and inbound tactics will help with your ROI. An inbound lead is $135 compared to $364 for your average outbound lead.
You can’t rely on your current database for outbound
Data is now hugely important to ensure you reach the right people, with the right content at the right time. Sadly, data for outbound activity is less and less dependent with the average data base containing 25-30% of useless records. Using social networks, however, opens up a tap of data for you to open up.
You are more likely to be recommended
It’s not just about prospects. Customers are very important to engage with through social media and 38% of customers have recommended a brand they like or follow on social networks.
Social media is being used at the top.
Thought social was only used by the graduates who are used to posting photos to their Facebook while they are on their gap year? Well think again. The internet is now the top information source for c-level executives with 74% saying it is their most valuable way of getting information.
It’s the best way to get your brand out there
Don’t just think marketing for social media. It is a key part of your PR strategy. 89% of journalists use blogs while conducting online research and 56% said social media is important for reporting and producing stories.