All business decision-makers now use social media for work purposes, according to a new report from Forrester research.
This means that all business customers are now reachable via social channels, so it no longer makes sense to segment business customers into those who use social for business purposes and those who do not, analyst Zachary Reiss-Davis concludes in the report, which is based on a survey of 382 global business-decision makers.
The research also found 98 percent of business decision-makers are what Forrester considers "spectators" on social media, meaning that they are regularly reading blogs, watching videos, or listening to podcasts). Seventy-nine percent could be considered "joiners," meaning that they maintain profiles on social networking sites), and 75 percent are "critics," regularly commenting on blogs and posting product and service ratings and reviews. Additionally, 86 percent have read others' tweets within the past month, and 40 percent have participated in LinkedIn groups affiliated with a brand or vendor in the past month.
And, what's more, all of these activities fit within the context of their normal business activities, the report found.
"It's no longer a question of whether you should use social, but how," Reiss-Davis said in the report. "B2B marketing executives no longer need convincing to invest in social."
At the same time—and because of this—social marketing efforts are maturing beyond experimentation and becoming more of a science. Marketers today need to understand exactly how and when their customers are using social media and target them differently in each stage of the customer life cycle, Reiss-Davis suggests.