Forrester Research is telling B2B to go social. They released its results of the company’s most recent Technographics® survey, one which polled 382 North American and European decision-makers at companies with 100 or more employees.
Forrester’s report uncovered some incredibly high social media usage statistics. The study revealed that 100% – yes 100% – of respondents use social media in some capacity for work-related purposes. In addition, 98% of business decision-makers are “spectators”; they read blogs, watch videos, listen to podcasts, etc. for work-related purposes.
To a lesser extent, nearly 80% are “joiners” who maintain a profile on networking sites for business purposes. The study also found that 75% of business decision-makers are “critics”. They comment on blogs or post ratings and reviews for products and services.
This confirms what many CMOs and marketing strategists already know: businesses should be investing in social media. Interestingly, however, the social sites that most may think of may not be the best channels for B2B engagement. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have their advantages, such as huge mature communities. For outreach, those sites are effective at building audiences.
For marketing engagement purposes, the Forrester study suggests that niche communities are more often for specific purposes, such as to solve a technical problem or ask a community for recommendations. Forrester blogger Zachary Reiss-Davis writes, “for example, business technology buyers might visit IT Central Station or Spiceworks to learn more about multiple competing technologies at once; alternatively, they might visit a community managed by a single brand, such as the Cisco Communities or SAP Community Network.”
We have believed what Forrester uncovered. Social engagement is a vital new toolbox in the war for buyers. This belief led to the release of our social posting automation interface. Some may argue that automation takes the sociability out of the equation but we disagree: as Forrester has shown, B2B decision-makers expect SM to be a channel for marketing – and they’re all in communities out there.
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