An Interview with LinkedIn’s Mike Weir

If you missed my recent online interview with LinkedIn’s Mike Weir, I just want to tell you two things. First, this was not a sales pitch to get you to spend money advertising on LinkedIn. And second, it was full of you-need-to-know info on changes in how IT buyers use social media to affect their vendor decisions.

The discussion featured insights collected in a recent study conducted by comScore, Starcom MediaVest and Mashwork and here are 3 of the many understandings that came out of it.

To listen to a recording of the entire conversation, click here.

3 things tech vendors need to know about IT buyers and social media

1. IT buyers are not just IT and the executive team

Today’s IT buying decisions are made by committees that increasingly include people from departments affected by the purchase. Marketing, sales, operations, finance, facilities – they’re all represented, where appropriate, on the IT buying committee. In fact, 43% of the IT committee are non-IT and 50% are not senior level.

If you’re going to be an effective marketer, you need content that addresses the needs of each of these buyers. And you have to be visible in places those buyers hang out. Yeah. It’s complicated. But it’s what effective tech marketing is all about.

2. IT buyers want to connect with vendors but they’re tired of traditional lead generation tactics.

IT buyers may be ignoring your sales people offline in droves, but they expect to get to know and learn from you on social media. In fact, 76% of IT buyers in the US are ready to have a conversation with tech vendors on social media.

Here’s the catch: they don’t want to be marketed to. They want you to act like the rest of their network – their peers and established experts – by having a point of view and sharing valuable content without making them jump through hoops to get to it.

Will IT buyers eventually give up their contact information in order to get your white paper or attend your webinar? Yes! But you have to earn their trust first. Share more on the frontend without restricting access and you’ll easily add more and higher quality prospects later on.

3. If you don’t connect with IT buyers on social, you’re not likely to make the short list.

You read that right. The IT Committee is using social media to help them decide who goes on the short list. And you need to be in the conversation to get on that list.

The comScore study also found – somewhat startlingly – that the short list is getting shorter. Where short lists of 6 to 8 companies used to be the norm, IT buyers now report they’ve narrowed the field to 3 to 4 vendors before beginning that part of the buying process. With the winning vendor being on the short list 93% of the time, it’s ever more critical to make the list.

LinkedIn offers tech marketers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with buyers, get in the conversation and get on that short list.

Want more tips on engaging with IT buyers on LinkedIn? Make sure you check out the complete interview here. No form completion required.