A growing number of companies are using social media to promote their products and build their brands, but a recent study indicates it isn’t very effective at generating leads and awareness, according to Ken Krogue, president and founder of XANT.
That was one of the many interesting facts Krogue revealed to top sales leaders during his session, “Top Lead Generation Methodologies for 2013,” at the Inside Sales Virtual Summit. Krogue’s presentation looked at a 2013 study XANT conducted ranking the effectiveness of lead generation methodologies. (A YouTube video of Krogue’s session is embedded at the end of this article.)
“Social media is exciting. We all love it, but it hasn’t really gotten the traction yet of some of the other medias,” Krogue said.
Even social media gurus like Guy Kawasaki recognize it is not the most effective medium. Krogue relayed a conversation he had with Kawasaki two days before the event.
“We made a bet on how we were going to fill this large virtual trade show, and he [Kawasaki] bet that 70 percent would be filled by email and 30 percent by social media,” Krogue said. “He is a social media guru. He has 4.5 million followers on Google+, 1.5 million on Twitter, but he felt email would fill more seats than the social media would.”
Krogue thinks social media will be more effective at lead generation in the future, and he will figure out how with the help of his research-based business intelligence team.
Using Time and Resources More Effectively
Even though marketing and sales teams are wasting time with social media, they are using their resources wisely in a few other areas. The top three most used methodologies are also the most effective at generating both leads and awareness: corporate websites, emails and tradeshows.
However, they are still missing out on a few key opportunities to bring in more quality leads. XANT’s study shows webinars, search marketing, seminars and telemarketing are effective but aren’t being used as much.
“It’s all about the leads,” Krogue said. The lead generation study pinpointed the top business to business marketing challenges. The No. 1 challenge was generating more leads. The No. 2 problem was improving the quality of those leads.
Social Media Least Effective, Outbound Marketing Most Effective
When grouping the methodologies into categories, social media was by far the least effective category, while the less utilized outbound marketing methods proved highly effective.
(Most Effective to Least Effective)
- Outbound Marketing (inside sales and telemarketing)
- Event Marketing (virtual tradeshows, webinars, seminars and physical tradeshows)
- Online marketing (websites, search and blogs)
- Traditional marketing (radio, TV, advertising and outdoor marketing)
- Social media
Krogue said the surgical nature of outbound marketing is what makes it so powerful. “Every call is designed to drive a lead, and there’s not a lot of slippage,” Krogue said. “So, there is a specific brand being built and a specific lead being generated.”
Best Social Media Platforms for Lead Generation
While social media as a whole is overrated for lead generation, LinkedIn is the most effective social platform.
“The social media platform that is the strongest is LinkedIn. I personally love LinkedIn and would probably give it a higher rank than the survey did,” Krogue said. “Another study we conducted found a 700 percent increase in response ratios to messages sent through LinkedIn over email with the exact same content.”
Facebook is the next most used and most effective social media site; although it is more geared toward business to consumer and less toward business to business.
Google+ is less used than Twitter but more effective. Pinterest is the least used and the least effective.
Changing Your Approach for More and Better Leads
Krogue suggests taking some time to look at the methodologies you have in place. Are you utilizing the most effective mediums, or are you spending the bulk of your time with those that are less effective like social media?
“Take some time to look at the methodologies that are highly effective and maybe underutilized in your own environment. Put them to work because it’s really all about the leads,” Krogue said. “Do your best to always move from less assertive methodologies to those that are more assertive and more effective. That’s where the results are.”
For a more complete look at the top lead generation methodologies, Krogue’s entire presentation is embedded below as well as on XANT’s YouTube channel.