While social media has solidly established itself as a fantastic medium for reaching consumers and driving website traffic, how do the different channels fare at generating actual leads?
A recent study by Optify1 has shown that if a business wants to attract a steady flow of traffic to its website, Facebook is the way to go. If it's real leads you're after, however, many say you should be using Twitter. Why is this?
About social media conversions
The study examined traffic to business websites and found, after going through more than 62 million site visits, that 54 per cent of all social media traffic came from Facebook, while only 32 per cent of visitors clicked through from Twitter. Then the question became: are those visits leading to action?
In the case of Facebook, the answer was, largely, no. Judging from the results of the study, while Facebook is a great resource for increasing website visits, the popular social networking site doesn't fare as well when it comes to generating leads.
Overall, social media is not shown to be an overwhelming source of leads, with only 4.8 per cent of all B2B small business leads coming from social media sites. Of those leads, however, Twitter led the pack, with 82 per cent of all social media-generated leads. Facebook only held 9 per cent of all social media leads, tying with LinkedIn.
Why Twitter is better at generating leads
Different social media channels have different strengths. What makes Twitter a better platform for generating leads is that businesses can reach potential customers with regular informative posts, i.e. tweets. Tweeting in a personal and engaging way creates an ongoing conversation that can build trust between a company and its target audience.
Twitter also allows decision makers to directly connect with others in their specific industry, as well as obtain referrals. Since many leads come from ongoing relationships, recommendations and referrals, the platform makes it easy to get leads without leaving the office.
Tips on capturing leads
As business owners participate in social media communities and online forums, it's important to keep track of lead-generation opportunities. For example, noting small things, such as the brand of coffee an executive prefers, might lead to an opportunity to spark a conversation later. Retweeting and supporting the efforts of your contacts helps keep you fresh in their minds, increasing the possibilities for connection.
It's important to stay current by establishing and maintaining a presence on all the vital social media sites. It's equally important to utilise traditional methods of finding leads, such as databases and making contact with the people who are most likely to be interested in what you're offering.
Twitter has become a great outlet for industry networking, with business owners and marketers regularly posting on the site. For maximum effectiveness, also consider penning a column or blog on a topic of interest to others in your industry. By posting a link to your Twitter feed, you can encourage potential clients to click over and learn more about you and your business.
Find this helpful? You might also like:
This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.
Kathleen has a degree in marketing with over 10 years experience in the IT field as a database developer and web designer. As a freelance writer, Kathleen has written for several publications across Australia as well as for various business and hi-tech blogs online.