A new study by UBM TechWeb suggests social media is becoming increasingly important to IT decision makers who now use Twitter, LinkedIn and corporate blogs to talk shop, share information about technology vendors, compare products and services and even to help drive IT purchase decisions.
Analysts studied the social media consumption habits and preferences of almost 650 business technology decision makers. They found:
- Social media is the #4 information resource in terms of time investment
- 40 percent of those polled plan to increase the amount of time they spend with social media
- 59 percent use social networks to get information about tech purchases
So, even though social media is still trailing behind more traditional online media (Tech B2B websites, Tech B2B magazines and e-newsletters), four out of 10 IT decision makers intend to increase the amount of time they allocate to social media and more than half are already turning to social channels to help make purchase decisions. I’m guessing social media will quickly propel up the information ladder.
“Social media is pervasive, and it would make sense for IT executives to increasingly use social platforms to share information and help them make purchase decisions, “Scott Vaughn, UBM TechWeb’s CMO said.
The study also showed that LinkedIn and Twitter are the best places to talk shop with IT pros. More than two-thirds (69 percent) said they use LinkedIn. 44 percent said they use Twitter. Moreover, IT decision makers reported they use social media to:
- stay connected with colleagues (66 percent)
- learn about new products (59 percent)
- seek advise from peers about technology purchases (47 percent)
While it’s clear that social media is becoming an increasingly important component of the IT marketing mix, Vaughn is quick to reminds us that building a social media network takes time and persistence.
“Social media is not a silver bullet when it comes to IT marketing. The most effective social media strategies are also the most difficult to implement and are often only a component of successful, sustainable marketing programs,” he said.
For more information on the study, see UBM TechWeb Report How IT Decision Makers and Tech Marketers Are Using Social Media Today, which is available on the TechWeb website at www.ubmtechweb.com.