Thursday, May 6, 2010

IT Buyers Using More Social Media

In a recent study that was put out by Forrester Research, technology business decision makers are using more and more social media for business purposes. In the study called “Social Technographics: Business Technology Buyers” done in Dec 2009 thru Jan 2010 of 1,011 global business technology buyers 46% have now joined a social networking site for strictly business purposes. Last year the same group only showed a 29% activity level. Also sighted in the study 33% of these business tech buyers are now creating social media content for business purposes such as a blog or video compared with 27% a year ago.

In a separate study done by the “North America And European B2B Social Technographics in an online survey done in the 1st quarter of 2010, the factors that influenced their reason to join or participate in SM is:

56% ~ Quality of the discussion, relevance to the comments
46% ~ Topics discussed by the community
46% ~ Expertise and demonstrated thought leadership of participants
24% ~ Nature of problems issues the community formed around
18% ~ Interests expressed by the participants
15% ~ Volume of activity; frequency of posts and comments
12% ~ Breath of participation; the diversity of views expressed
10% ~ Size of the community
6% ~ Age or duration of the community

These are purpose driven people and communities. For high-tech buyers, social media is only a means to an end, one that more often than not involves researching a complex buying decision. Among the factors that most influence their decision to join a social network for work purposes, 52% cite the quality of the discussion and the relevance of comments, 46% cite the topics discussed by the community, and 46% cite the expertise and demonstrated thought-leadership of the participants.

Larson Notes & Satire: I did a double take on the number 46% when I read it. That is one big market share of a target for some lucky company located in SM. If you sell to the IT market segment you might just want to push your efforts deeper into SM but pick your spots carefully, as in all SM endeavors you need to know that your target market is there as well or you are taking to a vacuum.

I did some selling of IT for a few companies in the past. The money was good. Maybe I need to take another look it.

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Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
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