How B2B Decision-Makers
Use Social Media
• March 7, 2012
• The following deck synthesizes available data on how B2B decision-makers use social
• Social Media is many things – it’s a way to push content, it can be a simple way to pass
along something one likes, and of course, it enables conversations in real time or ones
that are time-shifted.
• What the data we found says is that B2B decision-makers want social more for learning
and conversing. They live in a world of changing ideas and they see social as a way to
learn from companies and experts, in direct conversations, and to amplify their own
Interacting with People at the Firm is Most Important to Decision-Makers
When B2B customers were surveyed, they said what really is meaningful to them on social
networks is truly engaging with the company, actually conversing with people from the
Learn and Promote Ideas are the reasons 35% to 50% of Senior DMs Use Social
Senior decision makers want to be the providers and recipients of ideas and insights.
Content is important, as long as it educates and advances thinking.
Channel Effectiveness as Reported by Firms
Effective social strategies can
take many different shapes.
What’s important about this
data, as reported by B2B
firms, is that the most
leverage they get is from true
social media engagement –
managing relationships with
bloggers, sharing content,
The easier items, putting in
social sharing buttons,
running paid media, are not
doing as much for firms.
Visual Content is the Trend
60% of B2B Decision-Makers Use the Social Web Worldwide
The same study showed that senior decision makers do the following:
•75% have watched a video online
•55% have uploaded a photo
•45% have posted on a forum
•48% have commented on a post
•35% have asked or answered a question using a Q&A utility
•20% have subscribed to an RSS feed
This data confirms the current trend underway to a more visually oriented social web.
• As the social web is becoming more visual, we should look for opportunities to share
photos, infographics and videos that support our messaging;
• Decision-makers want direct conversations with firms – we should structure episodic
and ongoing opportunities to meet this need.
– An episodic example is a Twitterview or a Webcast
– An ongoing example is to feature people who can converse with different targets (CMOs versus
IT for example) on social channels and encourage direct dialogue
• B2B firms report the best results come from blogger relations, SEO for social sites and
blogging – we should consider investing in these activities as a priority in rolling out our
• The desire to use social to learn can be met with educational materials tailored to two-