Among social media channels, LinkedIn accounts for the greatest number of referred visitors to B2B websites, but Wikipedia is more effective at delivering relevant and serious leads, according to a study by LeadForce1.
In addition, visitors referred to B2B websites from Wikipedia spend more time on those sites once they arrive—3.22 minutes on average—compared with visitors from Facebook (2.53 min.), LinkedIn (2.50 min.), and Twitter (2.46 min).
Below, other findings from the study titled "How Effective Is Social Media for B2B Lead Generation?" by LeadForce1.
Visitors Referred by Social Media Sites
Social media sites now account for nearly 15% of referral traffic to B2B websites that have a social media presence, according to the LeadForce1 analysis of 4.4 million leads analyzed over a three-month period.
LinkedIn accounts for 27.1% of such social media referral traffic to B2B sites, followed by Wikipedia (16.8%).
Bookmarking site Reddit (18.4%) and developer site Dzone (13.0) also feature prominently, likely due to the relatively high number of tech companies included in the study, according to LeadForce1.
Meanwhile, Twitter accounts for just 9.5% of referred traffic to B2B sites and Facebook accounts for 6.9%.
Visitors Referred by LinkedIn
Visitors referred to B2B websites from LinkedIn are more interested in finding out about the people within a company rather than what the company does: The most frequently visited Web pages are "management team" pages (13.76%) and "contact us" pages (13.49%).
A smaller percentage of traffic seeks out "contact us" pages (6.95%) and product pages (1.96%).
Visitors Referred by Wikipedia
Visitors referred to B2B websites from Wikipedia are likely in the research stage of their buying decision process: The pages most visited on B2B sites are features pages (16.74%) and products pages (13.22%), followed by the about us pages (10.95%).
That finding also reiterates the belief that enterprises look for neutral content when researching a solution or a vendor. Since Wikipedia generally discourages promotional content on its site, it has emerged as a reliable source for B2B decision-makers, LeadForce1 points out.
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Visitors Referred by Twitter
Most visitors referred to B2B sites from Twitter are in search of content, with blogs the most-visited pages (4.76%), followed by the "about us" section (4.0%).
A smaller percentage of traffic seeks out products pages (2.94%) and "contact us" pages (0.79%).
Visitors Referred by Facebook
Similarly, visitors referred by Facebook are primarily looking for content or company information: The "about us" page (4.0%) and blog pages (3.26%) are the most-visited pages on B2B sites, followed by "management team" pages (2.55%), "contact us" pages (1.97%), careers/jobs (1.85%), and products pages (1.11%).
Main Sources of B2B Visits
Most visitors (47.8%) come to B2B sites directly by typing in the website URL, whereas 16.2% arrive via search and 5.71% via paid search. Some 30.3% of visitors arrive via referral sites—consisting of news sites, job sites, and social media.
About the data: The website visitor data for this report was collected from February to April 2010, from among 218 LeadForce1 B2B clients that have an active social media presence.
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