If you’re like most small business owners, you’re probably using social media to market your business. But do you have any idea how many leads you’re actually generating from it? A new study from Eloqua has some useful benchmarks for which social media channels deliver the most leads to most B2B and B2C companies.
The survey asked about businesses’ use of 36 different social media networks. As you may expect, the most effective social sites for lead generation will depend somewhat on your industry. For B2B companies, however, a much wider range of social networks was used. Although Facebook was the top lead generator (cited by 36 percent of companies), the other sites that generated leads were scattered among StumbleUpon (18 percent), Twitter (13 percent), Reddit (10 percent) and LinkedIn (9 percent). Less used were Blogspot (4 percent), Slashdot (3 percent) and YouTube (2 percent).
For B2C companies, the range of useful social sites was much smaller. Specifically, Facebook really dominates in lead generation, cited by 75 percent of respondents. The next most popular site, Twitter, accounted for just 9 percent of referral traffic, while Reddit, StumbleUpon and YouTube accounted for 4 percent each.
How can you use this data to help your business? For me, one interesting facet of this survey is the range of options that generate leads for B2B businesses. If you’re in B2B and you’re not exploring some of the social sites that get less buzz in the media (like Reddit and StumbleUpon), try testing them out.
If you’re in B2C, this study reinforces the conventional wisdom that Facebook really is the place to be. You’re probably already there, but think about how you can reinforce your efforts. Dig into your analytics to see which types of posts generate the most leads. Link posts to landing pages on your site to promote special offers or capture contact information for follow-up. These strategies will work for B2B too.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the social options out there, keep in mind that the best way to not only save yourself time but also improve your results is to develop an integrated strategy. Think about how you can repurpose content or create related content for different social channels. Suppose you hold a bike clinic at your bike shop. Take pictures of the event, post a blog about it on your website, ask attendees to share their pictures or what they learned on your social sites…you get the idea. Make sure your social media accounts link to each other, and make sure that every link ultimately drives back to your website, where you should create calls to action and offers that turn visitors into leads…and ultimately into customers.
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