– Brian Solis, Digital Analyst, Speaker and Author
In this article, we will explore how social media influences B2B purchase decisions. We have also listed down some of the well-known B2B brands which have the best social media presence, along with a downloadable checklist to ace your social media presence/influence game.
The buying funnel
Points of exploration
- Factors that influence a purchase decision
- How is social media influencing?
- Downloadable questionnaire for your upcoming social media marketing plans?
- How can you use it better?
- Use of targeted database for social media campaigns
Factors that influence a purchase decision
- Customer relationship
- Personal preference
- Value addition
- Extra services/offers
- Social media
- Brand presence
- Moment marketing/Engagement
- Brand response to DMs, comments, complaints
- Influencer marketing
- Type of content marketed
- Real-time pictures/videos
For marketers, understanding these influential factors will provide a complete view into the mind of the ideal customer. You can use these aspects to connect with your perfect audience and impress them to make a profitable decision.
How is social media influencing?
Matthew Goulart, the founder of Ignite Digital, a Canadian digital marketing agency, says that “Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people, and the people will provide you.”
B2B purchasing behavior is increasingly imitating the B2C cycle owing to factors like the omnipresence of digital resources, mobile devices, and the presence of ‘social buyers.’
Here are some facts about social media influence in the B2B industry that might interest you.
- Over 90% of B2B buyers use social media to engage with industry thought leaders, and 72% use social channels to research. (Source – elevationmarketing)
- 84% of C-Level and VP-level buyers are influenced by social media when considering a purchase. (Source – Articulate)
- Nearly 60% of B2B buyers browse existing social media conversations as part of their research process. (Source – elevationmarketing)
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are progressively helping businesses share company information and insights with their followers. These platforms act as a smooth communication channel between the prospects/customers and the brand. By giving the audience a glimpse of the company’s work culture, ethics, and many more, social media paints a natural face of the brands, hence assisting them in making a more morally sound purchase decision.
These are how social media influences the buyers in the B2B industry to make an informed purchase decision.
By giving them options
The modern-day buyer is targeted with ads and commercials across all the social media platforms. Based on their browser cookies and search history, your prospective buyer is fed with content from many of your competitors. These commercials can play a vital role in the final buying decision made.
By letting them check review
Online reviews are the most influential factor while making a purchase, if not THE most important one. 92% of buyers hesitate to purchase if there are no customer reviews. The response you make to reviews, feedback, complaints, and inquiries depict your customer behavior and how important are they for you.
By giving them a piece of detailed information
The adoption of social media to promote informative, interactive, and engaging content has changed the face of B2B marketing in the 21st century. As mentioned already, portals like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networking platforms work as your brand’s face and reflect its personality.
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By displaying your creative side
Marketing without creativity is as useless as a nail without a hammer. Modern-day B2B businesses are polishing their creative angle for better branding and customer engagement. Memes, videos, moment marketing, local geo-targeted campaigns, and similar trends are used increasingly to engage and entertain customers globally.
By displaying your work culture
Social media is like a scanner. It sees everything. In this global era, a brand with diverse work culture, flexible work time, amazing gender ratio, and other factors similar to these are bound to be super impressive. Do you respect your employees? What is your take on race, orientation, and other factors? Is it always best for your brand to be vocal on social media? Addressing these factors makes a positive impression on your brand.
By displaying your stand on social causes
Modern-day buyers are educated, socially aware, forthright, and expect a lot from the brands they are associate with. As the gap between the brand and the consumer has almost diminished due to social media, brands need to be mindful of social issues; not only to impress the audience but also to state their ethics.
By giving them information about the market and the business
Social media posts help your ideal customers understand your knowledge about the business, the market, and the customers. Are you updating your business as per the changes in the industry? Does your product/service solve your audience’s pain points? What blogs, articles, emails, and similar other content are you promoting? The more the customer feels that you know about the market well, the more he/she will be convinced to buy from you.
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Here are a few examples of some of the best social media presence of B2B brands:
Now that you know how social media impacts the buyers’ purchasing decision in the B2B industry, how do you scale up your social media game?
Download this brief guide to ace the impact of your social media on purchasing and influence buyers to make a decision that will prove to be favorable for you.
Circulate targeted messages
Use social-friendly, up-to-date, and relevant content and images
Apologize where there is a mistake
Do not repeat content
Review tags and un-tag yourself
Respond to DM’s
A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is. (Scott Cook) The seller’s success depends on how he understands the pulse of the customer & utilizes that knowledge to market the product. In today’s time, it’s a sin if marketers are not using social media platforms optimally. As purchasing decisions across the B2B industry are getting altered, more & more businesses acknowledge that social media has a massive role in this.