Including Online Reviews in B2B Social Media Strategies

onlinereviews

Business-​to-​business (B2B) buyers spend plenty of time online researching potential partners, products and solutions. If your clients are not doing the best job maintaining their online reviews, there is a good chance their prospects will overlook them. The latest research from Clutch explains what B2B vendors need to work on concerning their B2B social media strategies.

In their survey of 450 B2B buyers, Clutch analysts noted that a vendor’s website plays a key role in helping these buyers select their next provider. Up to 35% of B2B services buyers expect to see good information, including price transparency and reviews, on vendor websites, including their social media pages.

Upgrading Your Clients' B2B Social Media Strategies

B2B Buyers and Reviews

Prospects often rely on vendor resources during the buying process. Finding case studies on the vendor's website is important to 23% of B2B buyers. And, over 40% of these buyers use the vendor's sales rep as a source of information. But the buyers also look at other sources when deciding where to make their purchases from. For example, online reviews play a big role (46%) for evaluators. 44% will check out reviews unearthed through search engine results as part of the evaluation process. In SalesFuel’s SMB Purchase survey, 31% of prospects say that they trust online business reviews and that those reviews influence the decisions they make. If your clients haven’t been asking existing customers to participate in reviews or case studies, help them with this process. It's crucial to their B2B social media strategies.

It’s not enough to simply cultivate reviews from existing customers. Prospects are looking for quality. Specifically, say Clutch analysts, customer reviews should have:

  • Good rating/​score 22%
  • Recency 11%
  • Easy to read layout 8%
  • Good length 8%

Remind your clients that managing reviews is an ongoing process, as about half of B2B buyers read six reviews during a purchase cycle.

Purchase Timeframe

Prospects spend between two and three months evaluating business services providers, according to Clutch analysts. These findings are similar to what we reported in our SMB Purchase Survey. When purchasing products or services that cost between $10,000 and $50,000, small to medium-​sized businesses take between two and six months to make their decision. They will be checking every online resource they can find during that timeframe, which is why your client's B2B social media strategies need to be ironclad.

Help your B2B clients improve their win rate. You can start by offering your website and online review management services. To get an idea of how clients look online to their prospects, run a Digital Audit on them. The tool is available from AdMall by SalesFuel.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.