A recent report from the UK should make you think twice about your efforts. I wonder does this translate across the pond to the US? I suspect there is a lot of similarity.
The latest B2B marketing survey from Baseone shows a big decline in B2B social media usage from buyers! I quote,
You can get the full report title “Buyersphere Report 2012: The annual survey of changing B2B buyer behavior“, free here. Unfortunately the graphs are almost useless in the report as they are too hard to actually read, but persevere as the information is good. Here is one from their blog.
One important finding is that for every (1) buyer increasing their usage of Facebook and Twitter, there are 4 that are reducing it!
That is BIG! Do you find the same? So is social media over hyped?
Let’s not forget that this survey asks the buyers themselves whether they actually used it. This is not marketer opinion; it’s what the buyers actually did last year when they were wondering whether to spend money with you or with your competitors.
Search is in fact still the biggest research influencer. And they still use a company’s web site as a primary source of information.
Here are some highlights:
- 21% of B2B buyers use social media at some point in buying process
- LinkedIn is 67% more useful than Twitter for B2B buyers
- Word of mouth and web searches are the best ways of finding info
- Buyers who have been in their role for less than 5 years are twice as likely to download whitepapers (or eBooks).
- Only 11% of buyers make a purchase over $30,000 (£20,000) without seeking advice
- B2B buyers find most whitepapers (or eBooks) and blogs via Google, but find out about most seminars by email.
- Use of Twitter amongst B2B buyers has reduced from 10% to 3% in the last 12 months.
- Twenty-something B2B buyers are TWICE as likely to use social media as 31-40 year olds.
- Under 30s are the only age group of B2B buyers who rate social media more useful than word of mouth. To them, it is word of mouth.
- B2B buyers are far more likely to use LinkedIn for conversation than for just finding articles. This is less true of Twitter.
- B2B buyers see Twitter as more useful at the later stages of buying process
- B2B buyers still access 85% of purchase-related info via a PC. Only 6% and 7% by smartphone and tablet respectively.
- 11% of B2B buyers say they share information by Twitter. 34% do it via the printer.
- B2B buyers share more information on traditional forums than they do via Twitter.