I read an interesting blog post on Leadforce yesterday, concerning the efficacy of using Social Media Marketing to generate sales leads.
The post reported the results of a survey they conducted amongst their own client base. The sample was made up of 261 companies, of which 218 had active Social Media presences.
Bearing in mind that this is just one study, and one to which we did not have access to the process used to run it and analyze its results – the good news is that SMM works; the bad news is that it perhaps doesn’t do in the way you think it does. Let’s begin with their Major Findings, summarized below for your convenience:
- One in three visitors to B2B Websites are B2B Visitors. This surprises me: it seems low – surely B2B would have a higher attraction rate for Enterprise?
- Social Media, for sites with an Active SMM presence, sent almost 15 percent of these Enterprise visitors to the website.
- Wikipedia is the most effective social media channel and brings in the most relevant and serious leads. The survey found that Wiki leads are more inclined to spend longer on your site because they read more of your pages, and that they are less likely to bounce, and that they thus represented the highest quality leads compared to those generated by any other Social Media source. This is the best news! It adds a new social platform for B2B lead generation. Let’s face it, (please pardon the pun), but it’s difficult using Facebook for B2B. And yes, LinkedIn generated more leads than Wiki did, but not of the same quality, (see below).
- LinkedIn generated the maximum number of visitors to B2B websites from amongst all Social Media platforms. But LinkedIn generated visitors were more interested in finding out about the company than its products or services: they tended to read the About and Contact pages more than they did the product or service descriptions. Given the Job Hunting aspects of LinkedIn, it’s not clear to me whether these people are interested in the company for its sake or their own job search.
- Facebook and Twitter don’t generate much traffic, according to the survey. No surprise here – these tools help to engage with existing customers and the media, and in some ways help to promote your content, but there’s so much Twitter traffic these days that much of it is ignored. And as I said above, Facebook is a puzzle which most B2B companies have yet to solve.
The survey found that a little over 4 million people visited the 261 sites in total over 3 months, and that about 50% of this traffic originated from direct referrals. It appears that the 2nd highest source of these leads, a little less than 6% of the traffic, originated via Organic Search. This seems very low compared to our almost 30%, but then perhaps we do a better job of our SEO given that we consult on Search Engine Optimization as a service.
And the biggest takeways?
Let’s hear it for Wikipedia! It appeared in this survey to provide a source of high quality leads for B2B purposes and that’s a Good Thing! Of course, what the survey didn’t say and what the blog appeared to studiously avoid explaining, was just how you use Wikipedia to generate leads.
LinkedIn, based purely on my gut reaction to these results, appears more suited to creating brand awareness than solution preference. I say this based on the page types LinkedIn generated leads seem to prefer such as your About, Contact and Team pages. It could also be, as I suggested above, that LinkedIn people are reputably more concerned with jobs than B2B Research.
Either way, Wikipedia appeals; so please feel free to add your ideas on how to use it as comments!
Bit-by-Bit #32 from Eric.