But not to talk about the new appetizer they just tried at a trendy restaurant. A new study shows decision-makers, such as business buyers, are increasingly using social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter to make buying decisions.

Trade publishers have tried, unsuccessfully, for years to build such on-line communities which they could control and mine. As it turns out, customers (C-level execs) like everyone else want to own and control their own networks.

If customers are increasingly turning to each other for product information, does this leave B2B marketers out in the cold? Of course not. The customer still has to learn about the vendor’s offering somewhere, somehow.

The marketer’s job is to 1) do an even better job of describing the unique benefits they offer and how they help the customer, and 2) monitor and take part in the conversation on social networks, offering genuine useful advice, answering questions, addressing concerns but skipping inane, clumsy pitches. 

Social networks are another, complementary sales channel where the emphasis is on useful, honest information. Hmmm, sounds kinda like old-fashioned journalism, doesn’t it?

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

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