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Social media not as effective as a company website? | Cote Media

It’s happened again.

We read about a new study… and immediately came to a different conclusion than the one presented.

Y’know, we’ve speculated before that maybe we need new glasses. Or maybe we’re just hopeless optimists. It’s possible that we’re just contrary by nature. (We’ve been accused of such.)

Have a look, and tell us what you think.

A 2011 Demandbase National Marketing and Sales study found that a company website is the second best source for sales leads, behind personal connections and referrals. Their survey (of small businesses to large enterprises) puts social media at the bottom of the list.

Social media may be heralded as the silver bullet to bring B2B marketing up to snuff but, despite its increasing influence, it’s important to keep in mind that no business sale is made without the buyer going to the corporate website first…

The study also found that while a website is the most important source of sales, many are underperforming as customers feel ignored or disconnected and leave the site.

A couple of things here…

Not quite what we meant by “sticky”…First, a brief note about visitors leaving your website. If you want to keep customers on your site, you need to make it “sticky”. How can you do that? Content. Try adding a company blog… or improving the one you have. Allow and encourage your visitors to post comments and messages. They’ll tell you what’s wrong with your site.

But that’s not the main thing we want to address. It’s the notion that the company website is the most important source of sales and leads.

How do visitors get to your website? How do they find you?

Well, here’s one answer from Crowdspring.

Click image to view full infographic.59% of small businesses surveyed get website traffic from Facebook. 55% say they received website traffic via LinkedIn, and 35% credit Twitter.

What’s more, the DemandBase study found that personal connections and referrals were the number one source of new sales leads…

…well, the Crowdspring report says that 69% of respondents received personal recommendations from Facebook. 62% saw the same from LinkedIn, and 44% from Twitter. We’ve told you (again and again) that social media is word of mouth.

So. A new study finds social media waaay below a company website and referrals when it comes to generating sales and leads. Yet we still see social media as the overlooked catalyst.

Is it the glasses? Unrelenting optimism? Contrary nature?

Could be, we suppose… But we don’t really believe it.

What do you think?