Tom Smith’s guest post at Mashable makes the point that we now trust the opinions of strangers as much as we trust our close friends, thanks to social media. He’s highlighting findings from the Universal McCann study, “When did we start trusting strangers”. Don’t let yourself get lulled into thinking this phenomenon is taking place only in consumer markets. Social media is also changing the way that businesses source trusted opinions on products and services.
Social media is transforming B2B decision-maker ecosystems in two fundamental ways. The most notable, according to Influencer50 research, is that more categories of advisors are exerting more influence during B2B purchase decisions. Social media is helping make many types of “hidden” advisors more visible, more accessible, more informed.
Another change is the appearance of new types of influencers. Examples include niche consultants, procurement groups, and expert communities.
The bottomline is that social media is changing the way we slice the B2B influence pie, just as it is changing influence in consumer markets.