It’s de rigeur today for B2B marketers to sing the praises of social media. That’s a safe move — it’s a lot easier to catch flak for using too little social media in your campaigns rather than using too much.
But how many marketers can pin down the impact of social media using hard numbers? Here’s some data to help you answer that very important question.
The following infographic, based largely on results from the Demand Gen Report 2013 B2B Content Preferences Survey and 2012 B2B Buyer Survey, makes a few points crystal clear:
- Your customers and prospects don’t just consume content; they’re constantly sharing it with their colleagues. This is true across a wide range of content formats, not just the stuff that’s usually considered “ideal” for sharing.
- B2B buyers regularly turn to social networks to research potential purchases. It’s vital to put your content on the networks they consider most valuable as research tools — and that puts LinkedIn and Slideshare at the top of your list.
- Nearly three out of four B2B buyers use social media in some capacity during their research and vendor selection process.
Those numbers take social media out of the realm of soft ROI and squishy, poorly-defined benefits. Promoting your content over social networks is now a vital part of getting your message in front of potential buyers, establishing thought leadership and making the most of your content investments. That means understanding which social media channels are most appropriate for your campaigns, and it definitely means understanding how to optimize different types of content for your social campaigns.