There's quite a bit of talk by B2B businesses about the presumed lack of true prospects actively engaging in social media. But, even more of a detractor to marketers is how to prove the ROI of investments in social media. IDG Connect's brief, Social Media and the IT Investment Process - Linking to Relevant Content: May the Best Vendor Win, has some data that shows ROI directly correlates to the relevance of vendor posts in social media.
IDG asked IT buyers about their experiences with social relevance. Similar to a past report that learned buyers only find relevant content 42% of the time, this research found buyers saying they only find relevant links in social media posts 39% of the time.
I found this slip in perceived relevance disconcerting. But, it also points to how difficult it is for solution providers to make the shift into social where interactions count on personally produced, often off the cuff posts.
Here's a great reason why we need to improve our social relevance.
"Over 40 percent of buying team members who use social media as part of the investment process state they pursue links they consider relevant over 40 percent of the time. If the offered content is found to be relevant increases the likelihood of a positive recommendation by over 30 percent."
As I'm writing this post, I'm listening to the 2nd webinar presented by Genius.com and DemandGen where they're sharing additional insights from the Transforming the B2B Buying Process study they recently conducted.
Here are a few more reasons why social media relevance carries significance for vendors:
- 48% of buyers surveyed said they followed industry conversations about topics of interest.
- More than 20% of these buyers said they connected with a vendor via social media.
All of the above present some pretty significant reasons why B2B marketers need to focus first on really understanding and getting to know their buyers and then apply those insights to how they participate in social media as well as how they create content.
Social media should be included as a core component of your content strategy. I don't know about you, but a 39% rate of relevance just isn't acceptable to me. Tangible ROI will remain elusive if we don't flip our focus to our buyers and keep that focus firmly in place.
The good news is that if we improve our relevance, we can generate results. For those of you who think buyers aren't using social media for business reasons-think again.
Link to original post