Without question, social media has dominated the business news in terms of conventional media channels as well as digital media channels. B2B organizations are either dipping their toes in the social media waters while some have dived in nose first with elaborate presence. One thing is clear, many are trying to do "Something" with social media even if unsure what that "Something" is. The only thing we can be sure of is that buying behaviors have changed and that expectations about the buying experience have changed. While there have been many reports that show quantifiably how buyers are accessing social media, what is going on qualitatively remains murky. Scripted Talk Tolerance: buyers are demonstrating a low tolerance for what has been the traditional use of scripted talk. Listening Post: social media represents the new "Listening post" to buyers. Buyers have always by nature gravitated towards a listening post. From the old western frontier saloon to the modern day conferences buyers have listened. Social media has created a widespread availability for buyers to listen in on what is new, what others are saying, and for good sound advice without having to reveal who they are. A read on this from a buyer`s perspective and how it is changing the buying experience is that buyers expect to be educated. Buyers, when confronted with problems, issues, and initiatives, are impulsively online seeking to educate themselves about what confronts them. Freedom of Choice: what is fast becoming an overly used expression is that "Buyers are in control" these days. What appears to be the real development is that buyer`s have freedom of choice in terms of how they wish to interact. In what seems like something out of a history book, buyers really had only one choice for many years - to interact directly with sales. Social media and the digital age have transformed the buying experience in the sense that buyers have more choices to interact. Some buyers, what may seem unfathomable with all of the swirling news surrounding social media and "Buyers are in control" actually do prefer to pick up the phone and call a sales rep to say "Come in for a chat." Peer review within social media platforms is transforming the buyer experience by creating a "Collegiality" atmosphere to the overall buying experience. Brand Advocacy: social media represents a new fountain of advocacy for a particular brand.
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