At least one industry is willing to be on the social media edge of Internet marketing, according to a new survey by ITtoolbox. Having talked to over 2100 IT professionals, in companies of all sizes and in various roles, ITtoolbox reports on how influential social media can be on purchasing decisions.
The survey included “blogs, podcasts, online communities, wikis, and profiles/social networking” in the social media realm. The survey found that, on average, IT professionals spent 3.5 hours a week using social media. ITtoolbox created a “Social Media Index,” to measure a group’s use of social media in comparison to that of business managers; three of four IT professions used social media far more heavily:
- Executive Decision-Maker: 121
- IT Decision-Maker: 96.5
- Business Manager: 100 (index)
- IT Analyst: 121
- Developer: 111
IT Decision-Makers used social media slightly less heavily in their decisions than the index Business Manager, turning more frequently to vendor websites than social media (after social media, they looked to trade magazines and editorial websites). However, they tended to trust social media more. 64% said they thought social media had enabled them to make a more informed purchase decision. (73% also said they thought social media made their lives more efficient.)
Can social media work for B2B? It may depend on your industry, but for IT, the answer appears to be yes.