We often hear people say to us "my customers are not on social" and this is missing the point.
If you read the latest We Are Social and Hootsuite research from Simon Kemp
Here are the essential headlines from this Q4 report:
There are almost 4.2 billion internet users around the world in October 2018, up 7 percent since this time last year.
Around 3.4 billion people around the world used social media in September 2018, up 10 percent versus September 2017.
If you think that I assume you are selling into the first world, pretty much everybody in the first world is on social media. But there again this does not take into account how people buy.
When a company buys a new accounting system, for example, it's not the CFO that starts looking for a new system, she or he have people to do this for them. The people that do the searching and are drawing up the short list will understand social. They will ask questions of their network, they will consume blogs, they will watch video, they will talk to influencers and if you are not there, you will be invisible.
We are aware of a salesperson that sells a mid-market accounting system (I'm talking in the $100Ks) and a person called them up and said "I've watched the videos and read the blogs, your's is the product we want". Now they may not have been the best negotiator in the world, but it demonstrates that people are researching and consuming content online. By the way, this happened 3 years ago!
Some 73% of 20- to 35-year-olds are involved in product or service purchase decision-making at their companies, according to a study of “millennial” buyers by Merit, with one-third reporting that they are the sole decision-maker for their department. And about half of all B2B product researchers are digital natives, a number that increases every year, according to a Google/Millward Brown digital survey of buyers. When a company needs a product or service, buyers turn first to research on their laptop or smartphone rather than immediately calling vendors or hosting meetings. More than 70% of searches start with a generic search, such as “CRM software,” rather than a search for specific brands. Contacting a salesperson occurs later in the typical purchase process, and sometimes not at all.