Here's some exciting material for marketers who love to look into the numbers to find trends and anomalies outside the typical plan. Optify's 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report analyzed data points from over 62 million visits, 215 million pageviews and 350,000 leads from more than 600 small and medium-sized B2B websites.

One of the ways we looked at this data was to understand the trend and impact social media (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) had on B2B Marketing in 2012. One of our key findings is that Twitter is the strongest social media channel for generating leads, outperforming Facebook and Linkedin 9-to-1. In fact, 82% of all social media leads were sourced from Twitter.

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During 2012 there was an increase of social media traffic for B2B websites but was still only a fraction of total traffic at 1.9%. However, the lead conversion rate for social media channels did contribute proportionally more leads than its traffic share. The conversion rate for social media was the lowest of all the sources we analyzed, at 1.22% - the average of all sources was 1.6%.

Just over 3 pageviews per visit is the average for most sources, but social media led to the lowest engagement on the website with 2.02 pageviews per visit. Facebook is the strongest drive of traffic but Twitter was the most effective social media channel to convert visits into leads.

The percentage of companies who were able to drive leads from social media was very low, indicating that B2B companies don’t have a social strategy to drive leads or their programs have a lot of opportunity to be refined and optimized.

Social media still has a long way to go to prove to be a sustainable source of traffic and leads for B2B websites but the potential is big.

Key Findings

In summary, these are the three key findings for each channel:

  • Facebook: Strongest channel for driving visits
  • LinkedIn: Strongest channel for driving pageviews
  • Twitter: Strongest channel for driving leads

This data reveals that one social channel might be more effective than another based on the goal you're trying to accomplish. However since they all have different strengths, an integrated marketing approach will give you the greatest results for your effort.