Posted February 28, 2013 3:42 pm by with 2 comments

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one-way-sign2Finding new leads is an integral part of running any business to business business. You can direct mail everyone on a purchased, targeted list, network at a trade show, cold call every business in town . . .

Or you can build a comprehensive website and active social media accounts, then wait for the leads to come to you. Might sound crazy, but according to DemandGen 90% of business buyers say when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find you. 78% of those people will start their search on the web. 50% will turn to social media and peer review sites.

Which “leads” us to today’s topic — which social media site is better for generating quality leads? My guess would have been LinkedIn since it’s so squarely aimed at the business to business community. I would have been wrong. Quoting a study from Optify, eMarketer’s chart shows a different story.

emarketer social b2b leads

Let’s be clear about what these numbers represent. These percentages are based on people who started on a business social media account, then made their way to the company’s website or sales rep. Where it gets foggy is how they determined which were “leads” and which were simply visits. (Perhaps they used sales data to count the number of visits that turned into dollars?)

However they figured it out, Twitter is the clear winner. 82% of social media leads came from the bird. Wow. I understand Facebook’s lack of performance in this area, but LinkedIn? It seems unfathomable that this purely business social network could be so off the mark.

The second row tells a whole different story. Here, Facebook is the clear winner, sending 54% of the traffic back to the company website. Twitter comes in second and LinkedIn brings up the rear again.

In the grand scheme of things, it almost doesn’t matter because additional numbers show that only 1.9% of traffic to company websites comes from social media. Organic and direct account for over 80% of visitors.

As for leads, only 4.8% come from social media. Direct and Organic came out on top again but paid search and email were both more effective than social media.

Still, 4.8% is something, so if social media isn’t costing you a lot of time or money, it’s worth any leads it might pull in.



  • Ribi Khaimov

    Great article. I’m shocked to discover the traffic to lead ratio among Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I also would have expected LinkedIn to have made more of a dent than 14%-9%.

  • Abram

    I also would have expected LinkedIn to have generated more leads, especially since it’s responsible for connecting so many businesses worldwide.