We’d all like to think we understand the social media, and have a pretty good idea about which platform best suits a particular business.
We all have our own personal favourites too: some SMB’s swear by Facebook for social advertising, whilst others prefer the punchiness of Twitter. Few businesses have been won over by the idea of using LinkedIn for lead conversion, however that may be about to change when SMB’s sit up and take note of the latest research from HubSpot, the all-in-one marketing software experts, which clearly demonstrates that if your business is looking for superior conversion rates, then LinkedIn is the social platform that will deliver the best results.
Most marketers will tell you LinkedIn works best for professional networking, and that Facebook is better suited to personal networking. They might also mention that Twitter is where you’ll find kindred spirits. Unfortunately, HubSpot’s research would tend to suggest otherwise. Of all the 3 leading social channels, LinkedIn is the most effective source of leads for B2B companies.
In a study of 3,128 HubSpot B2B customers in 2011, LinkedIn generated a visitor-to-lead conversion rate of 2.60% percent on average.
To give that figure a sense of perspective it should be noted that that’s four times higher than the average visitor-to-lead rate for Twitter (0.67%) and seven times higher than the average rate for Facebook (0.39%). How did HubSpot reach its conclusions? Well, the methodology was a data dump of all of HubSpot customers’ social media traffic and leads collected through the HubSpot system in 2011. From there, data was segmented to look at B2B companies that had generated visits and leads from social media. Companies that generated fewer than two leads in the year were excluded from the sample.
If businesses are still unconvinced about the effectiveness of this professional social media platform, then here are one or two other facts and figures that might persuade you to change your mind. HubSpot’s research suggests that LinkedIn is growing at a faster rate than both Twitter and Facebook. This statistic is backed up by independent research from another respected company, Compete, the online business intelligence agency. Compete found that although the average monthly user activity is greater on both Facebook and Twitter, The user base is growing significantly quicker for LinkedIn. LinkedIn attracted 28.1 million unique visitors in March 2012, up 7.3% from 26.2 million in February, and up 60.7% from 17.5% one year earlier. By contrast, Twitter attracted 42.0 million unique visitors Twitter in March, up 35.5% from 31.0 million visitors a year earlier. Facebook attracted 169.9 million visitors in March, up 20.7 percent from 140.7 million a year earlier.
So if your business is looking to convert more leads, then it pays to be open-minded and not dismiss LinkedIn summarily. LinkedIn is currently seriously under-utilised as a marketing tool. In fact, its groups and answer features give marketers more information than they could ever glean from Twitter profiles or Facebook open graphs.