There are some great stats in the attached white paper from IDC, not least that 75% of B2B buyers use social media to research vendors.
That statistic alone explains the meteoric growth in Business-to-Business Content Marketing. However if you read the report, the story is starker still:
"online social networks play a vital role in the purchase process of 84% of the most senior B2B buyers."
"In the final stage of the purchasing process, when stakes are highest, online professional networks (e.g., LinkedIn) are the number 1 information preference of buyers."
What this means for B2B organisations is, if you're not involved in online social content marketing, more than three quarters of your potential revenue could be left on the table.
That is entirely unacceptable in any business.
The fact is, people make purchasing decisions emotionally and early in the buying process. Don’t try to change or fight this core human drive. Instead, work with it, be a sheppard, enable it with educating content. Social media now plays a huge roll in B2B sales. Mostly in the form of trusted recommendations and customer feedback. In the IT solutions biz, this means LinkedIn mostly. However, there’s zero reason not to participate on Facebook, Twitter and more—even if you’re just sharing your website blog posts and listening for conversations.