IDG Connect’s survey of more than 400 enterprise respondents involved in IT purchase decisions shows that social networking is popular among B2B IT buyers in making technology purchase decisions. According to the report, titled Connecting Conversations To Content, 86% of B2B IT buyers are currently using social media networks in their purchase decision process.
Search is used by 58% of respondents, followed by social networking (57%); professional networks (51%); video sharing (38%); and reviews and recommendations from peers (38%).
“Clearly, buyers are using multiple social media platforms and communities during the purchase process”, says Bob Johnson, principal analyst and VP at IDG Connect. “Buyers want to go to places they trust as they seek insight to make decisions and social media platforms, such as Facebook, have both reach and stature for many people.”
The research also revealed that showed that in two years, social-peer generated content alternatives are expected to have a greater purchase reliance weight than editorial and vendor content. IT buyers favor the conversations of vendors that then offer links to virtual events, blogs, and forums.
Some other findings include:
- 48% use Facebook for general education;
- 29% also refer to Facebook as they make final decisions;
- 16% use LinkedIn in the evaluation/implementation stage’
- 7% use Pinterest from research to final purchase; and
- 5% use SlideShare across the buying cycle
Johnson said: “If social media conversations are not better understood or connected, vendors run a serious risk of having sub-standard lead generation and nurturing efforts. Be warned; if marketers do not offer relevant links to content and activities, someone else will, and marketers without relevant information will lack engagement to identify qualified leads.”
The full report is available here.