Click on the infographic to the right to get a sense for the business lead generation potential of LinkedIn, Blogs, Facebook and Twitter.  Just know that you need more than statistics to develop a sound business development strategy online.

In fact, according to Dorie Clark, “the harder decision is figuring out which [platform] you should prioritize — or jettison.”

Still, these numbers help you develop a point of reference:

  1. LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating business leads than Facebook or Twitter.
  2. B2B marketers who have acquired customers through:
    • LinkedIn = 77%
    • Blogs = 60%
    • Facebook = 43%
    • Twitter = 40%
  3. Best-in-Class companies generate over 3x the leads from social media compared to other companies.
  4. Social media produces almost 2x the leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail or pay-per-click.
  5. Social media lead conversion is 13% higher than the average lead conversion.

Strategy before tools (not every platform is created equal): Before you go social, I suggest you pause. The best social media strategy is deliberate and thoughtful. Shotgun does NOT come to mind. Things to consider:

  • Focus on a platform that has the most impact for your business.
  • Use the platform that best speaks to your strengths.
  • You do not need a presence on every platform.
  • Over-extending yourself results in mediocre content and lousy engagement.
  • Having a stale online presence may be worse than doing nothing.

For a HBR author and consultant like Dorie Clark, “who traffics in ideas, blogging and tweeting make a lot more sense as investments.” I find that to be the same for me. I spend most of my time on this blog then Twitter and then LinkedIn — in that order. Why?

Because as Dorie says, blogging is the best way to demonstrate true content mastery and thought leadership.

And, that’s supported by this research about how professional service firms generate leads. So, don’t make things more difficult than necessary. Start by mastering one social media platform well and build from there — strategically — in a deliberate and thoughtful way. How are you building your online visibility to generate leads? What is your main platform? Do you pollinate or syndicate your content across multiple platforms? If so, do you tailor that content to the unique culture of each platform? For related posts, see:

The sources for infographic featured in Entrepreneur‘s article by Kathleen Davis are:

  1. Jeff Bullas
  2. Visually
  3. SalesStaff
  4. Hubspot