Back in the 1970′s, I enjoyed watching Hawaii Five-0. Steve was the boss and he’d routinely ask Danno and Chin to “check em out” — investigate the person, company or organization. They had their sources. Can you imagine what tools they’d use today? They go right for the smartphone and social networks, quickly solving crimes in many cases.
The same could be said for purchasing managers. Their jobs’ requirements haven’t changed much from the 1970′s, but their tools sure have. The whole process has gone electronic and more direct, for sure. But how do you “check em out?” Would you believe social media is making an remarkable change there, too?
The survey also showed the growing influence social media, blogs and other Web 2.0 tools are having on the BtoB buying process. A majority of respondents said Twitter and LinkedIn influenced their decisions during the “Solution Analysis” and “Problem Identification” phases. Nearly 90% indicated that blogs impacted their research during the “Solution Analysis” phase and 3 in 4 respondents said social bookmarking sites such as Digg and Delicious were utilized during the early Analysis phases.
“The early survey results validate what we have been seeing in our own business as well as through the results of our customers,” said Scott Mersy, VP of Marketing at Genius.com, the sponsors of the survey. “There is a lot of research and conversations taking place outside of the traditional sales funnel and BtoB companies can realize greater revenue by reaching out and responding to these interested prospects.”
BtoB buyers are also increasingly interested in sharing their experiences after they have completed a purchase, with more than 60% of respondents indicating they shared the learnings from their research and buying process with others after the fact. One-on-one discussions were the most common platform for sharing insights, but blog postings and participating in discussion forums on LinkedIn and other social sites represented a growing area.
I believe it.
Let me give you an example. Say, for instance, you’re in Terre Haute, Indiana, and you’re asked to find a good source for truck parts. One of your colleagues suggests Andy at Illiana Truck Parts, so you “check em out” on the Internet. Google it and you get the usual, including the company’s site. Oh, but the second link is to The Fastline Blog and a story on “The Cleanest Junkyard You’ve Ever Seen.”
Interesting post. Seems like a nice guy — somebody I’d buy from.
Andy Nickel, President of Illiana Truck Parts
Should you put up a Facebook page for your organization? Is it worth it? Well, that depends on a lot of factors, but the answer is YES.
Nielsen and Facebook presented a joint study at ad:tech San Francisco 2010, entitled “Advertising Effectiveness: Understanding the Value of a Social Media Impression.”
The study was based on opt-in polls of more than 800,000 users on Facebook pages, using Nielsen’s BrandLift research methodology to measure consumer attitudes on more than 125 ad campaigns. It found that ads with social media context, defined as “lightweight endorsements from friends displayed within the ad units,” increased ad recall by 1.6 times that of ads without the endorsements; increased brand awareness by 2.0 times; and increased purchase intent by an unspecified amount.
Get a copy of the report here. It proves an integrated approach among all media — paid, earned and social — can work hand-in-hand in generating the kind of brand awareness we marketers strive for. The study has implications beyond Facebook.
Another study, released as a free eBook by Shabbir Imber Safdar and Shayna Englin, gets into real detail from a non-profit’s persepective. “Is Your Nonprofit Facebook Page Worth It?” uses a real world example, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
Nonprofits need to answer a few simple questions to justify the time and expense they’re investing into maintaining a presence on Facebook:
- How effective is the work I do on Facebook in producing bottom line results for the organization?
- What should I be doing differently on Facebook to improve my results?
- Should I take resources away from Facebook and devote them to something else?
Unless you can answer these questions, Facebook will become yet another unproven checklist task you must do without justification because “everybody else is there”.
Both are worth reading.
Oh, and the image at the top of this post was used to produce this spot for the Palm Pre last year…