Social media is beginning to take over the driver's seat in bringing in leads and sales for B2B companies, with 61 percent of U.S. marketers using social media to increase their leads, a recent report from InsideView puts Facebook as the leader in this realm.
The report surveyed over 1,000 global buyers and estimated that 90 per cent of B2B companies using social media relied on Facebook for lead generation, while 53 per cent use Twitter, followed by 47 per cent using LinkedIn and 33 per cent looking to blogs as a great resource for leads. While 90 per cent of those B2B companies using Facebook, 41 per cent report they have generated leads from Facebook and that Linked In has proven to generate more leads than Facebook, Twitter, or Blogging for B2B.
Additionally, 75 per cent of global buyers surveyed said they are likely to use social media in the purchase process in the future, and one third have already used social media to engage with their vendors.
There are three key reasons why business needs to be selling socially according to a report in Business.com. One of the key factors is that "your customers are already there," followed by "your competition is there and if not, will be soon" and "your employees and new hires expect it." If that is not convincing enough, one adage to bear in mind is that 70 per cent of the buyer's journey is complete before it gets to sales.
Finally, social networking is on the upswing having risen from 41 percent to 60 per cent, while micro-blogging is up from 21 per cent to 39 per cent.
Online conversations with prospects are meant to accelerate deals and sometime pave the way for greater communication and access to decision makers. Social media is after all - social - and helps build long standing relationships.