Twitter vs LinkedIn – Better Social Media For B2B Lead Generation

We need to focus on lead generation.

Sure, I said. Let’s look at our options.

What about social media for B2B lead generation?

Ughh! For lead generation? *raises eyebrow*

Commonly, when we hear lead generation, social media does not come to our mind.

But, perhaps it should.

After all, by spending as little as six hours per week, 66% of marketers see benefits with social media for B2B lead generation (source).

With so many social media platforms available today, the question that pops up is – where do we begin?

You know what is surprising? B2B marketers who do use social media for B2B lead generation cannot tie revenue with the platform.

Twitter vs LinkedInSource: Foundationic

It is easy to assume that Facebook is the right platform for you. After all, it has over one billion users. However, for a variety of B2B Marketers, it is a choice between Twitter vs Linkedin.

44% have generated leads through LinkedIn and 30% through Twitter. While LinkedIn and Twitter are widely used for B2B marketing, in reality, the results depend on your product and target audience.

Let’s compare both Twitter vs LinkedIn for b2b lead generation and see which one would be suitable for your marketing goals.

1. Demographics and other statistics: Twitter vs LinkedIn

LinkedIn for B2B Lead Generation

According to LinkedIn stats, they are close to 500 million members with 61 million senior level influencers and 40 million decision makers. Not only this, LinkedIn is also the most used platform amongst Fortune 500 companies.

This is one of the only platforms that boasts a large number of influential and high-level executive regularly visiting them –  the potential leads most B2B marketing campaigns to aim to reach.

There is no doubt that LinkedIn is seen as a more professional website while others have an informal vibe as well.

Twitter for B2B Lead Generation

Socedo ran a search to find out how many professionals they could match based on their template and here is what they find. They also noticed that over 5.8 million professionals in more than 10 industries tweeted at least once in 30 days.

Twitter vs LinkedIn

Source: Socedo

Twitter has over 330 million users today. However, Twitter is more popular amongst the younger generation. According to Sprouts Social, 36% of 18– 29-year-olds use Twitter.

All said a research by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs shows that B2B marketers still use LinkedIn more than Twitter.

Twitter vs LinkedIn

Source: Kissmetrics

2. Experience of different B2B businesses

This data is from 2012 State Of Digital Marketing report from WebMarketing123 (a digital marketing agency) which surveys over 500 US marketers including GE, FedEx etc.

They asked which social media sites generated leads or sales, on which B2B had to say this

marketingland graph

Source: MarketingLand

This survey shows that LinkedIn has a higher rate of return than Twitter for both B2B as well as B2B businesses.

On the other hand, in a study of 3128 Hubspot B2B customers (2011), LinkedIn gave an average of 2.60% on the visitor to lead conversion which is 4 times more than the average rate for Twitter at 0.67%. Here is the graph for reference –

hubspot grpah

Source: Hubspot [See Twitter vs LinkedIn]

According to Hubspot, LinkedIn is 277% More Effective for Lead Generation Than Facebook & Twitter

At the same time, many B2B businesses have achieved a higher rate of return using Twitter.

BopDesign, a B2B internet marketing firm, saw a higher success rate for lead generation using Twitter and they have clearly outlined the process here.

In another year-long study of over 600 B2B organizations, it was said that  Twitter out-performs Facebook and LinkedIn by 9 to 1 in terms of generating leads. However, according to Graham Jones, the study is based on data which had social media contribution at merely 5% (negligible contribution to based a study on)

Twitter vs LinkedIn

Source: Graham

Finally, this study shows that 80% of all leads come from LinkedIn

leads from LinkedIn

Source: Foundationic [See Twitter vs LinkedIn]

3. Content marketing

According to LinkedIn’s Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn, 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as a content distribution channel, compared to Twitter at 89%.

LinkedIn also makes up more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites & blogs.

content marketing

While this does not always mean it is quality traffic, but LinkedIn does bring the user to your website and allow you to nurture them.

Every single week, content in the LinkedIn feed is seen 9 billion times. According to Iron Paper, about 45% of LinkedIn article readers are in upper-level positions, including managers, VPs, Directors, and C-level positions (LinkedIn study). Content published or posted on LinkedIn has a good chance of getting in front of the target audience or a decision-maker, which means it must be high-quality and well-written.

On the other hand –

Seventy-four percent of Twitter users say they use the network to get their news, an increase of 15 percentage points from last year. Contrarily, Twitter’s own information shows that the top reason people visit Twitter is to “discover something new and interesting.” Meaning, Twitter, is gaining traction in terms of content distribution.

4. Data

All said, Twitter has one huge advantage over LinkedIn. While you can gather data from LinkedIn as well, Twitter provides a ton of intent data (easily) to businesses.

But, what is intent data? What can you do with it?

Intent data is user activity or behavior that shows interest in buying, what topics they care about, what do they like, what are they talking about and predict where someone is in the buying cycle. Twitter also readily enables social listening as well.

Considering for B2B purchases, time is of an essence, the data provided by Twitter cannot be ignored at any level. If you could reach out to someone who is interested right now, you have chances of achieving higher conversion rates. This definitely makes it in favor of Twitter in the Twitter vs Linkedin debate.

All things said, the most important question in Twitter vs LinkedIn debate is which one performs better for b2b lead generation campaign?

If you go by statistics we have discussed above, hands down, LinkedIn works better for b2b lead generation.

But, can we ignore Twitter as a social media for B2B lead generation?

No way! While 92% said they preferred LinkedIn, Twitter was next up the line at 89%.

linkedin for lead generation

Source: Foundationic [See Twitter vs LinkedIn]

Also, as discussed above, Twitter provides you with useful insights and opportunities to woo buyers when they are actually interested in buying!

At this point, it is important to note that ad prices are decreasing on twitter, B2B marketers are leaning towards using videos to convert on twitter and it is said that Twitter affects the buying decision.

For example, a Nielsen study found that a quarter of new vehicle purchasers in the U.S. said that they used Twitter as part of their decision-making process. Another Twitter-commissioned Nielsen study showed that telco buyers spend 6.8 percent more with wireless carriers after seeing ads on Twitter. Not only this, Twitter’s own data shows that 41 percent of people on Twitter purchased products after seeing an ad in the last 30 days

What should you do?

Club both the social media for data and see which one works for your business.

What is your experience on Twitter vs Linkedin debate or social media for B2B lead generation in general? Which one worked better for you and why? Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn

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Kartik Jha

Author Kartik Jha

Digital Marketing Manager of with 4.5+ years of experience in Internet Marketing.

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