Report: Only 6% Of Buyers Claim Social Media Impacts B2B Buying Process

According to a recently published B2B Website Usability Report surveying buyers, social media and blogging have little influence on the B2B buying process.

Only six percent of the respondents claimed social media impacted their B2B purchases “a lot” and a meager 22 percent said they were interested in vendor blog content.

Conducted by Dianna Huff of DH Communications and KoMarketing Associates, the survey focused on what B2B buyers expect from a vendor website. With a very small pool of respondents — only 175 surveys were completed — participants included C-level executives, managers and directors, along with other professional types.

The study found that a lack of social media presence rarely impacted the B2B buying process, with 30 percent of respondents claiming it was important, but not a deal-breaker, and 37 percent saying social media wasn’t a factor.

B2B report Social Media Impact

Of the 175 survey respondents, only 24 percent said they look for social media icons on a vendor website. Even less – 22% of the respondents – look for a blog on a vendor’s website, even though 85 percent of the buyers polled said a blog does help establish a vendor’s credibility.

At 90 percent, an overwhelming majority of respondents said they expected to see product and services content on a  vendor’s homepage.

B2B report Homepage Content

Again, it’s worth noting the survey only included 175 responses, with 49 percent of the respondents claiming they did not use a smartphone to look for B2B products or services. When asked about responsive websites, 18 percent of the respondents said they didn’t know what “responsive” meant.

Related Topics: Blogging | Channel: Social Media Marketing | Content Marketing | Social Media Marketing | Top News

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About The Author: is Third Door Media's General Assignment Correspondent, and reports on the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs.com, SoftwareCEO.com, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

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  • Duh

    Not a surprise… The only people who care about social media are social media consultants, marketing coordinators and bored housewives. It doesnt even exist for most people outside of checking in to see pictures of your friends kids or catching up with your high school classmates.

    B2B Social Media is a joke. No one read the blogs and no one but the marketing team cares about Tweets. Focus on real content, real solutions and better communication. Forget Facebook and Twitter all together as they have continue to prove they should have no place in your B2B marketing efforts. Heck, they barely raise the needle for mass market consumer products…

  • Cynthia Lovely

    What would you call “real” content?

  • Cynthia Lovely

    I don’t care what polls say, what does the data say? Even here it says “…[only] 22% of the respondents – look for a blog on a vendor’s website, even though 85 percent of the buyers polled said a blog does help establish a vendor’s credibility.” So they don’t “care” if there’s a blog or not but, if there IS, it establishes credibility. Well, OK then. I’ll keep blogging (and sharing) unless I see much stronger evidence to the contrary.

  • derekedmond

    Hi Cynthia – thanks for checking out our report! There were many conflicting and uncertain statements about blogging and social media for certain; which made the feedback that much more interesting.

    I think one of the key points is that we didn’t ask buyers about discovery / that wasn’t part of the objective in our survey. I’ll bet the percentage of buyers who believe social media is important in vendor discovery is much higher (a question for next year :-))

  • steve

    We sell fitness equipment B2B and have tried facebook and twitter for the past 3 years with little to NO luck. We’ve found more success with linkedin and alibaba.

  • hpnhansen

    This article was more or less ONLY about the headline :)

    I don’t look for a social button on a webpage as part of a buying process. I don’t look for a blog either. The clue is how a B2B-company use social technology and communication to influence the buying process and that can be done through great content (blog or not) that build trust. That content could be found through a google search which comes down to if the company has done any seo-efforts or not. It comes down to if the content is to be found or has been shared, liked, commented and/or recommended through social networks or not.

    The survey was poor due to poor use of questions – the headline in this article was good though, and how did I find it – through social media off course :)

  • SocialSteve

    But how many company/brands do B2B social compellingly and correctly? Not many. If more brands knew how to drive awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty, advocacy with social media, the 6% would be exponentially higher. Don’t believe it? Let’s go through your social business.

  • http://www.salesgrok.com Dennis Hall

    Stimulating post, thanks! Agree with @hpnhansen:disqus overall and would love to know the industry focus of the participants. I would assume a majority work in laggard verticals like lighting, fasteners or plumbing, where digital marketing is on the left-hand side of the maturity curve.

    In my experience, B2B companies with long(er) or strategic sales cycles have seen strong returns from their investment in Social Media. I’ve seen clients in the energy and technology industry increase demand gen by many times over traditional media channels as well as reduce the duration of the sales cycle while growing deal sizes.

  • http://about.me/eullman Eric Ullman

    Who are the “buyers” in this survey? The demographics only state titles, not job responsibilities. Is the “buying process” the act of making the purchase after the research/discovery/evaluation phases have been completed? That’s not clear from the report, but if it’s the case, then I’d agree that social media is rarely engaged during the actual buying process.

    Big B2B companies are seeing measurable success with social selling and engagement, and communication of value through social channels—whether from the brand itself or from their other customers—is only going to increase.

    One final note: I’d bet real money that more than 18% of respondents don’t know what “responsive” web design is. Most people still think it’s related to performance.

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