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How B2B Decision-Makers Are Using Social Media
July 22, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff

Forrester-B2B-Decision-Maker-Use-Social-Media-July2013 Social media use is ubiquitous among B2B decision-makers in North America and Europe, according to results from a newly-released Forrester Research study. That said, their motivations for using various platforms differs greatly, and understanding those patterns is a crucial element for figuring out appropriate marketing strategies. The data suggests that among popular sites, Facebook is rarely used primarily for business purposes, while Google+ and Pinterest are still lagging in adoption rates overall.
The survey asked respondents for what purposes they visit or participate in a list of social places. The results indicate that:

85% visit brand-agnostic communities or forums at least monthly, with 18% doing so primarily for business purposes, and another 63% for business and personal purposes;
81% visit LinkedIn with that frequency, with 26% doing so primarily for business purposes and another 48% for mixed reasons;
81% also visit Facebook at least monthly, but only 2% do so primarily for business purposes, as opposed to 42% who do so primarily for personal purposes;
80% use vendor support forums or discussion forums on vendor or brand websites (for that specific vendor or brand), with 23% doing so primarily for business reasons;
62% visit Twitter at least monthly, but only 6% do so mainly for business, as opposed to 20% mainly for personal reasons;
Google+ monthly usage stands at 49%, with primarily personal (15%) usage outweighing primarily business-related use (4%); and
32% use Pinterest at least monthly, but only 2% do so primarily for business reasons.

So what are these decision-makers doing on each of the major networks? Among LinkedIn users, 88% have connected with peers or colleagues in the past month, while 40% have participated in LinkedIn groups affiliated with a brand or vendor.

Twitter is “primarily a consumption channel,” per the researchers, with the main activity among those using it at least in some part for business reasons being reading others’ tweets (86% of users). Still, 58% have retweeted something they’ve read, 55% have posted a tweet, 54% have responded to a tweet and 42% have sought support for a product.

Finally, those using Facebook for business reasons at least part of the time most often connect with people they know (71%), but a majority have also liked a brand or vendor (57%), clicked on an ad or sponsored post (51%) and posted on a page owned by a brand or vendor (51%).

Those results suggest that B2B decision-makers use the major social media platforms for both consumption and interaction. Indeed, among all respondents, while 98% are “spectators” (reading blogs, watching peer videos, etc.), 75% are also “critics” (commenting on blogs and posting ratings and reviews) and 56% are “creators” who publish posts and upload visual media.

About the Data:The data is based on an online survey was fielded to 382 business decision-makers located in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK, at SMB and enterprise companies with 100 or more employees. Business decision- makers included respondents in the IT, benefits, finance, marketing, and sales departments involved in both line-of-business product decisions and technology product decisions.

If you use TweetDeck as a dashboard for your Facebook activity, that will end Tuesday. On May 7, as promised, TweetDeck will discontinue support for Facebook feeds.

The removal of Facebook support has been planned for some time. In early March, the service publicly said it would stop supporting Facebook at the same time it abandoned its mobile apps, turning exclusively to web- and desktop-based apps. Then in late April, it gave a date: May 7.

Starting Tuesday, TweetDeck users who don’t remove their Facebook columns from their dashboards will have those columns removed for them. At the same time, TweetDeck AIR, TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone will all disappear from their respective app stores.
SEE ALSO: TweetDeck Update Adds Keyboard Shortcuts and More

TweetDeck’s transition from a social network aggregation tool to a service exclusively for Twitter power users is a consequence of Twitter acquiring the company in early 2011. Since then TweetDeck has shifted its focus to its web experience, desktop apps and browser extensions , leaving aggregation to other services such as HootSuite .

While it’s been known for a while that TweetDeck would scrap Facebook support, the news is catching some users by surprise, judging by discussion on Twitter:

Are you bummed that TweetDeck is sunsetting Facebook support? Share your reaction in the comments.

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