Your business should be on social media showing buyers that you know what they want and that your business can provide it.
Once again B2B buyers reported that their purchase cycle has increased since last year. That’s in part because they are scrutinizing potential vendors more closely than ever before. Buyers overwhelmingly reported spending more time conducting research (80%) and using more sources to investigate purchases (73%).
You may be surprised to learn that one of those sources is social media, more often than not. More than half (53%) of B2B buyers report turning to social media to make buying decisions. What’s more, more than a third (34%) say they are spending more time this year than last using social media to research vendors and solutions.
Social media should be a critical component of your lead generation and nurturing strategy. Your business should use these platforms to prove that you understand what buyers are expecting from your brand. The 2016 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report found that today’s B2B buyers expect:
- Timely responses to messaging: Demonstrating a timely response to questions helped make the sale 98% of the time.
- Strong knowledge of the company and its needs: Personalization ranked as the second most influential reason a buyer chooses a specific vendor. When researching potential products, 64% gravitated toward companies that demonstrated “a stronger knowledge of our company and its needs.” A whopping 84% chose a vendor that could solve one of their pain points.
- Clear demonstration of ROI: Buyers reported conducting a more detailed ROI analysis before making a purchase. Vendors who can demonstrate how customers will receive their return on investment have a clear advantage. In fact, 90% of businesses that do this make the sale, according to the study.
- Speedy and easy delivery: “Deployment time/ease of use” skyrocketed from 49% in 2015 to 83% this year, leading the ranks as one of the most important variables that can set you apart from your competition. Buyers not only want it quickly, but they want a simple and easy buying process.
Which social media platforms do B2B buyers use most in their research?
The B2B Buyer’s Survey found that buyers primarily are using three social tools to conduct their research.
- LinkedIn is reportedly the most impactful to the research process. (81% said it was very important or somewhat important.)
- Blogs came in second, with more than a third of buyers (37%) ranking it very important.
- Video sites like YouTube and Vimeo are third, with 60% of respondents ranking them very important or somewhat important.
Want your business to connect with the 2.3 billion worldwide social media users? Get Fronetics’ free social prospecting workbook to learn how to use these platforms to generate new leads and sales for your business.
- Why 88% of B2B Marketers Use Social Media
- Report: Social Media and the Logistics and Supply Chain Industries
- Need Leads? Try Social Prospecting