Survey: Facebook Best For B2C Sales and Leads; LinkedIn For B2B

A new survey shows that when it comes to generating leads and sales, Facebook gets top marks among business-to-consumer marketers while LinkedIn does well for the business-to-business marketer. Twitter comes in as a strong second place winner for B2C leads.

The data comes from the 2012 State Of Digital Marketing report from WebMarketing123, a California-based digital marketing agency. It’s the second year for the report, which surveys over 500 US marketers, including companies like Sony, GE, Bose and FedEx.

Sales & Leads From Social Media Sites

Part of the survey asked which social media sites generated leads or sales:


Facebook: Leader For B2C Leads & Sales

The chart above shows that 67% of B2C marketers who generated leads from social media said some of those came from Facebook, followed by 43% reporting leads from Twitter, then LinkedIn at 21%, followed by Google+ at 15% and Pinterest at 13%.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean that 67% of all B2C leads came from Facebook or that 67% of all social media B2C leads came from Facebook. If that were the case, you could total the amounts for each social media site to get 100%.

Instead, this gives you a relative comparison of how effective each channel is. Overall, 67% of B2Cers say they got some of their social media leads from Facebook, a greater rate than with other sites. In short, Facebook is seen as more effective for leads.

When it comes to sales, the pattern is the same. Facebook leads at 39%, followed by Twitter at 19%, LinkedIn at 9%, Google+ at 7% and Pinterest at 6%. But all’s not positive for Facebook. The report notes while it still leads for leads, it had a bigger lead last year:

The number of B2Cs generating leads via LinkedIn has increased 75% since last year, while the number reporting Facebook as a source of sales declined nearly 20% (from 48% to 39%)

LinkedIn For B2B Leads & Sales

For B2B marketers, it’s LinkedIn that’s ahead, with 44% saying they generated leads through the site, followed closely by Facebook at 39%, Twitter at 30%, then Google+ at 7% and Pinterest at 3%.

For sales, it’s the same order, just different percentages: LinkedIn at 23%, Facebook at 19%, Twitter at 14%, Google+ at 3%, then Pinterest at 1%.

Uncertainty Remains; SEO Trumps All

The report also says:

It’s notable that 20% of the marketers active on Social Media aren’t sure if they’re generating leads, and a full 40% aren’t sure if they’ve closed sales attributable to Social Media.

Of course, when it comes to lead generation overall, SEO is the big winner. The survey found 49% of B2C marketers and 59% of B2B marketers found SEO more effective than social media (in the 20% range) or paid search (also in the 20% range).

Our sister-site Search Engine Land has an article that goes into more depth about the overall lead generation findings of the survey. Check it out:

About The Author

Danny Sullivan
Danny Sullivan was a journalist and analyst who covered the digital and search marketing space from 1996 through 2017. He was also a cofounder of Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo and MarTech events. He retired from journalism and Third Door Media in June 2017. You can learn more about him on his personal site & blog He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.