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New Case Study Shows: Social Media Is The Major Contributor To Lead Generation

Social Media is a major lever to amplify and generate inbound enquiry. In a recent post the “Social Media and the 3 New Pillars of Marketing“, I outlined how the following elements were crucial in growing your business in the “Digital” and “Internet” generation.

  • Content: The home base your “Blog”.. plus other media such as online video that you can integrate with your blog
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) of Website’s, Blogs and Social Media Channels
  • Social Media (such as Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube)

These provide your company and brand with the technology and platforms to get your content and  “Thought Leadership” out to your market niche efficiently that a decade ago was only imagined.

These elements  correctly planned and executed, enable you to drive traffic to your website and generate inbound marketing inquiries that have been initiated through months and maybe years of engagement through reading your blogs, viewing your videos, that displays you and your companies expertise. It is not a “Zero Sum” game.

Your potential clients get to the stage where say, “They understand my issues and problems and have answers for them, so I need to take the next step and call or email them”

A Study by Marketing Sherpa of  the company BreakingPoint, showed success using a wide-ranging social media strategy to generate leads. An update on their tactics — with a focus on integrating email and social media  highlighted the original case study that first demonstrated how the team tested and measured activity from several social media channels. The results included

  • 55% of all leads coming from inbound Web visits, and
  • 75% of marketing-influenced pipeline coming from inbound Web leads

The case study outlined 6 Social Media steps to help fill the sales funnel:

#1 Create a blog to start and join online conversation

#2 Establish an active Twitter account

#3 Create a LinkedIn Group (or Facebook page depending on your demographic)

#4 Modify your press release strategy for blogger coverage

#5 Promote social media channels on your company website and in email signatures

#6 Measure growth of social media accounts and web traffic


Results of the researched company’s social media campaign showed that there was a dramatic correlation between the use of social media channels and the growth of the company’s web traffic and leads.

After only six months, their campaign resulted in:

  • 10,230 unique blog page views in Q3
  • 280 Twitter followers
  • 141 members of their LinkedIn Group
  • 155% increase in unique web visitors

Note :The most important thing is that the increased web traffic contributed to the majority of the teams leads.

Leads by source:

  • 55% inbound web
  • 23% trade shows
  • 20.5% email
  • 1.5% seminars

Marketing-influenced pipeline by source:

  • 75% inbound web
  • 17% email
  • 4% seminars
  • 4% trade shows

The following image shows the growth rate of new lead generation (blue), unique web visits (red), Twitter followers (yellow), LinkedIn group members (green) and blog views (purple) through Q1, Q2 and Q3.

Social Media Growth Graph

Using social media as a marketing strategy is obviously still very young compared to more traditional marketing concepts however, as it evolves it is becoming less and less complicated to track its affect on your brand and your bottom line.

Social media is an incredible way to create strong relationships with hard-to-find prospects, on a limited budget – but don’t be fooled, it’s not easy and it’s a major commitment.

Is your Blog, Social Media and your SEO creating inbound enquiries for your company?

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Jeff;
    Thanks for sharing these very impressive results with us. We have found very similar results in our own marketing campaigns. Your blog is obviously aimed at those interested in Internet Marketing Strategy; I thought it might be of interest to your readers to learn a little more of the tactical side, and so add this:
    Our clients (and our own efforts, too) have been greatly enhanced by the addition of a Sales and Marketing Automation (SAMA) System to deal with the increased traffic efficiently. A SAMA system greets visitors 24/7 on your behalf, engages their attention by showcasing your Content, Converts them to a Prospect by persuading them, using your Best Practices, to exchange their name and email address for more of your valuable Content, and then nurture them from cold lead to hot prospect via drip email campaigns. These hot prospects then feed directly into your Customer Relationship Management system so that you sales team can close the deal. The better SAMA systems also include tools to help you run your Social Media Marketing Campaigns, and their dashboards yield priceless marketing insight into your prospects by giving you a real-time view into their behaviour on your website, while simultaneously gathering profile information from them (with their permission).
    If you would like to know more about how these systems work, and how they offer more leads of higher quality at lower cost, please visit our website at http://www.gossamar.com

  • Hey Jeff,

    Great post as usual. I love to see the numbers, and so do those still skeptical. Cheers to a great 2010! – Justin

  • Good stuff, Jeff. We’ve found similar results when lead gen (or actually, sales) is the desired outcome, but our clients like SAP take the approach that creating and socializing content is the way to go, particularly when the content is not only syndicated but also part of an integrated, brand-driven approach. There is increased competition for customers’ attention, not to mention their registrations. Syndication of content should not be a “one-off” but part of an overall strategy to create valuable relationships.

  • Quite compelling! Do you know anything about the effort, man-power and budgets the company put into this campaign. This is what makes business decision makers believe in the power of social media in terms of lead gen, …or not.

  • Thanks for sharing the results seem impressive. social media has come a long way although, I still see cold calling to be a more effective b2b lead generation tool for many years to come.

  • Jeff, thanks for discussing our case study at BreakingPoint. Fortunately we continue to see many more interesting results from our integrated marketing campaigns. Let me know if you ever have any questions.

    Kyle Flaherty
    BreakingPoint, Director of Marketing

  • Another excellent post Jeff. Its nice to see a case study that shows some hard numbers on social media’s impact. I think it is critical to show the impact on the bottom line for convincing small businesses of social media’s usefulness to them. It is getting easier to do this thanks to tracking tools and case studies. I look forward to when it is even easier and more efficient to track and measure the impact of social media on key indicators such as sales, profits, market share, ROI and ROE.

  • Jeff, Your post resonates, and is consistent with what we have discovered in our own small business, boutique apartment management. The numbers are pretty compelling, particularly due to the economic climate, as well as we are operating in SE Michigan, which also sports the highest unemployment in the nation. Not a good mix for Small Business. We credit the effective use of Social Media Marketing as a significant part of our recipe. Urbane Apartments shows up Number One, Page One on Google, organically for relevant search terms for prospects looking for an apartment locally, which didn’t happen by itself.

    Year Over Year Numbers; Sept 2008 verses Sept 2009

    Our Web Site Traffic increased 108%!

    Great news right, web traffic soars from the effective use of Social Media by 108%, but who really cares? Did We Rent More Apartments, because if we didn’t, the practice of Social Media Marketing is just a hobby.

    Our physical traffic did increase, in that we did 54% more tours and showings, but the real metric which is Renting Apartments increased by 69%!

  • I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the great work Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  • Hi. I really liked your blog article. It is full of great info 🙂 Thanks.

  • I like the case study Jeff – but feel it’s a little misleading on a couple of points:

    Firstly, you’re including blogging/SEO within the field of “social media”. Now while that might be strictly true – when the general public talks/hears of social media they usually mean social networking – using twitter, facebook, linkedin.

    As far as I can see, the vast majority of the leads seemed to come from web traffic, rather than anythign to do with social networking. I could be wrong a bit here as the article doesn’t state the web traffic source – maybe some came to the web via social media.

    It also looks like the social media strategies were tested against a very restricted range of other markting approaches – essentially trade shows and running seminars. These approaches typically don’t generate a high number of leads (although seminar leads are typically very high quality). We don’t see any mention of direct mail or telesales which tend to generate a bigger number of leads. Or referrals which are often the best source of new business for many firms.

    Finally, this doesn’t take into account quality of leads. Personally I’d take 1 lead from a seminar (ie someone who has seen my present my stuff in detail, had probably interacted with me, and has now contacted me) over 280 Twitter followers any day.

    Not that I’m saying social media strategies don’t work. Personally, the vast majority of my clients come via my blog. But I do think we need to see more rigorous results before jumping to the conclusion that “social media is the major contributor to lead generation”


  • Great post. Love that you actually conducted a study to demonstrate the effectiveness of social media. I’ve found the identifying the ROI with social media is a tough thing to measure. Appreciate seeing a study related to traffic and leads though.


  • Thanks for your comment Quentin. Glad you are enjoying the blog 🙂

  • Hmmm, great analysis Jeff. But I notice that it must be at least a year old, judging by the comment dates. Data is probably even more compelling nowadays. Any recent updates?

  • Hmmm, great analysis Jeff. But I notice that it must be at least a year old, judging by the comment dates. Data is probably even more compelling nowadays. Any recent updates?

  • Social Media is one of the best tool for generating fast leads for any business. SEO and PPC also great choice.