As Pam Sahota pointed out in her recent post, more and more B2B companies are using Twitter for brand awareness, consumer engagement and lead generation. In fact, according to a study last year by White Horse, a greater percentage of B2B marketers (86%) are using social media, compared to their B2C counterparts (82%), even though nearly twice as many B2C marketers use social media daily.
While this may be a surprise, with the growth of specialty communities, question answering sites and marketplaces, plus continued investment in blogs (and Twitter of course), it should not be a surprise that the future of B2B is becoming increasing social. Here’s why:
• B2B is easier to target – B2B audiences are smaller, more segmented, and you typically have more time to get to know them given purchasing and sales cycles. This fact has basically driven the trade publication business for decades, and has been leveraged in the social world by innovators like HubSpot.
• B2B is where the money is – many B2B purchases are big-ticket items, individuals can represent significantly larger budgets than the typical consumer purchaser, and even when individual purchases are relatively small – like when buying office supplies – relationships can span many years or longer.
• B2B buyers are influenced by social – according to Forrester 91% of B2B technology buyer decision makers use social media to gather information, creating an environment where influencers are increasingly important, and products that can be marketed, sold, delivered and supported via the same channel become natural candidates for social commerce.