Is social media actually effective as a lead generation and selling tool?
That's what we sought out to determine in our latest research report - we recently partnered with Sharpspring to reach out to our collective communities in order to get their thoughts on what they’re seeing in regards to social lead gen, which platforms and approaches they’re finding most effective, and what they expect, in future, in regards to their social lead building efforts.
More than 320 marketers took part in our survey, which reveals some interesting, concerning and thought-provoking considerations for your digital marketing efforts. You can download our full report here, but this week, we'll be breaking down some of the specific elements, starting with the current state of social lead gen and what marketers are experiencing.
Is this reflective of your social led generation efforts?
Part 1: The Current State of Social Media Lead Generation
As noted, experiences with social media as a lead generation tool are significantly varied. Some businesses can post relatively few updates and still generate consumer interest, while others can dedicate hours each week to maintaining an active presence, only to find those efforts end up failing to deliver paying clients.
Without specific oversight into the techniques and approaches used by each, it’s difficult to allocate specific reason for such successes or failures, but with this survey, we wanted to get a more general idea of how businesses see social as a lead generation tool, and what the consensus is on the potential of social platforms for attracting valuable leads.
For the first element of our survey, we asked respondents how they feel about social media as a lead generation tool, in regards to the volume of leads they’re seeing, the quality of those leads, and their overall impression.
In regards to lead volume, the results largely align with the aforementioned sentiment – a relatively close split of respondents indicated that they were either ‘somewhat satisfied’ or ‘somewhat dissatisified’ with the amount of leads they’re generating, with fewer respondents selecting the ‘neutral’ option.
Far fewer, however, selected the ‘extremely’ satisfied or dissatisfied options, showing that social media is pretty falling within expectation for most.
In times past, more respondents would have no doubt selected the ‘extremely dissatisfied’ option, but with social becoming a more significant business element, marketer perspective on the potential of the option is easing. Which is good, on one hand, as it shows the industry is establishing more realistic expectations and benchmarks. But still, the high amount of ‘somewhat dissatisfied’ responses shows that we have a way to go, in either maturing our expectations and/or approach to improve results. Likely a little of both.
In regards to lead quality, the responses were also in the middle ground.
Again, that comes as little surprise, but with the majority of respondents selecting the ‘neutral’ option, that would suggest that our social media marketing approaches are not giving us the leads we ideally need or want a lot of the time.
Part of that lies in the sophistication of our approaches, and understanding what consumers come to social media for, and where brands fit into that mix. But another element relates to social media itself and the audience you’re reaching – which again, is why we sought to glean more insight into social lead gen in this report.
Overall, when assessing the viability of social media in terms of both lead volume and lead quality, most respondents indicated that they were ‘somewhat satisfied’ – but then again, the majority (51.8%) fall into the ‘neutral’ and ‘somewhat dissatisfied’ categories.
Clearly, social media is not delivering on its potential for a lot of brands. The challenge then is in diagnosing where the specific issues lie - and why businesses are not generating better results.
We'll explore this further in the next installment of our social lead gen update - or you can access our full findings right now by downloading the '2019 State of Social Lead Generation' report.