Grading Your Leads: Which Social Media Network Benefits Your Company?

Each has varying demographics that utilize the network differently.

I have developed an equation through demographic research that rates Social Media lead generation. Lead Grade = (2Li+Tw – Fb) / .5TL. How did I determine this and, more importantly, what does it mean?

A couple of weeks ago Jim Raffel wrote an article asking how he could quantify the success of a Social Media test he was running for the Info*Flex trade show. Jim suggested counting and categorizing the number of comments received from blog posts while factoring in general Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter activity.

To create the formula to measure lead quality against the various network demographics we first have to qualify each Social Media network as its own lead type. Each has varying demographics that utilize the network differently.

For this in-depth case study I am going to assume that you, the reader, run a business marketing your product or services to a 24-54 demographic.

Twitter: the wildfire of social media soft selling

Half of all Twitter users are voluntarily seeking advice and listening with intent.

Originally popular with adults it has quickly been adopted by the 18-24 demographic according to Comscore. All you need is one valuable post to get started. The risk of investment (time and money) to begin is incredibly small. A few well placed comments or mentions can bring your company a lot of traffic. To sustain your market value, however, is much more complex.

Based on a published eMarketer.com breakdown in 2009, 25.8% of all users utilize Twitter to find news or stay updated. Couple this with 21.7% for work related tasks and 9.4% for research you have an astonishing potential customer base of 56.9%. In Layman terms, over half of all Twitter users are voluntarily seeking advice and listening with intent.

Thoughts: Spend a couple minutes every few hours communicating with your network. Spend a few more expanding your network. The leads are, typically, on the lower end of the financial scope. But don’t be picky. A new client is revenue you didn’t have previously. All for the cost of a few minutes of your time each day.

Facebook: the electronic billboard for things people like

The 24+ demographic has grown 1,429.8% from January 2009 to January 2010.

Opposite of Twitter’s infant stages, Facebook first began in the 18-24 demographic. Then, as the community expanded into a more professional, and commercial, network adults began to recognize its potential applications. Namely, keeping in touch with people, and brands, they like.

Now, the 35+ demographic represents more than 30% of the entire user base. In 2009 alone the 55+ audience grew 922.7%. In all, the 24+ demographic has grown 1,429.8% from January 2009 to January 2010 and now includes nearly half of all Facebook users.

Thoughts: Facebook is typically used as a means to keep in touch with friends and family. An electronic billboard for things everyone likes. Think about it. You see billboards on the side of the road but do they promote action? No. It’s the art of face time. Being top of mind to the consumers. Face time on Facebook essentially.

The chance of additional revenue coming in is slim unless you invest a great deal of time in customer interaction or application development. Many of Facebook’s active users, the ones you want as a business owner, already utilize Twitter. Do not simply copy and paste your Twitter content into Facebook.

The prevailing benefit is simply having your brand there for others to see.

LinkedIn: referrals, referrals, referrals

69% of the users have a salary at, or above, $60k per year.

Although boasting roughly 4 million users a day LinkedIn remains the forgotten child of Social Media. Recently it expanded into a more useful, all inclusive, network by allowing its users to share content with other Social Media sites.

Unliked Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn’s majority users are 35+ and consist of 68% of the site’s demographic. 69% of the users have a salary at, or above, $60k per year. If you are selling a service or product I have to believe those analytics speak for themselves.

Thoughts: LinkedIn is a great professional and respected network. When you refer an employee, a company or even a product to your network everyone is notified. Not only is it listed predominantly on each user’s profile it becomes part of the LinkedIn Newsletter that is customized on an individual basis.

A single converted lead may be worth 10 or more Twitter leads financially.

If you invest a couple hours a month in answering general questions and recommending people in your network others will seek out your opinion. Or, ideally, they seek out your services and professional wisdom in exchange for a professional rate.

The conversion rate on this is higher than Facebook but also pretty low when compared to day-to-day rapid fire nature of what Twitter offers. A conversion on LinkedIn has the highest worth in my opinion due to the demographic. A single converted lead may be worth 10 Twitter leads financially.

The math.

Step 1 – Determine Priority.

If 67% of Twitter users match your demographic (24-54); 62% of Facebook users match your demographic and 74% of LinkedIn match your demographic we must put weight on LinkedIn as your best match. LinkedIn encourages quality referrals from first hand experience. Not relatively random ‘like’ or ‘follow’ functions.

1. LinkedIn
2. Twitter
3. Facebook

Step 2 – Determine Usage Multiplier.

Now, we must factor in the usage difference between Twitter and Facebook users. 56.9% of Twitter users voluntarily seeking advice and listening with intent. A typical Facebook user writes 25 comments or updates per month regardless of friend count. According to Sysomos, Twitter users’ tweet count goes up depending on number of followers. But as a whole people average two tweets per day. Importance of Twitter is raised above Facebook because of this.

Step 3 – Equation.

Lead Grade = (2 LinkedIn Leads + Twitter Leads – Facebook Lead) / .5Total Leads
– or –
Grade = (2Li+Tw – Fb) / .5TL

Current Scale:
A: 2.1 or above
B: 1.1 to 2.0
C: 0.1 to 1.0
D: -0.9 to 0.0
F: -1.0 or below

4 Comments

  1. kammeraitReplyJune 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm 

    Great post! I'd say in the markets I work in It's probably more like (1.2 ( LinkedIn ) + Twitter – .90 (Facebook)) / .5 Leads but you're spot on in much of your analysis

  2. Joshua GarityReplyJune 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm 

    In the end, there is a place for every Social Media network. It's just a matter of your demographic and what you are selling or servicing. Facebook is great for certain markets. But as a generalized whole, not so much.

    Each market has a half life. AOL had it. Text America had it. Myspace had it. Facebook had it. Twitter has it.

    They get popular. Get greedy. Users revolt. Find a better network that appreciates them as contributors and not people to advertise to. Then others fallow en mass. It's difficult to come back after you sell out. Facebook is trying. Twitter will go through it within 6 months I would estimate.

    I appreciate your input. Thanks kammerait :) It was difficult to nail down an equation that worked well regardless of the number of leads you input.

  3. kammeraitReplyJune 7, 2010 at 9:00 pm 

    Great post! I’d say in the markets I work in It’s probably more like (1.2 ( LinkedIn ) + Twitter – .90 (Facebook)) / .5 Leads but you’re spot on in much of your analysis

  4. Joshua GarityReplyJune 7, 2010 at 9:13 pm 

    In the end, there is a place for every Social Media network. It’s just a matter of your demographic and what you are selling or servicing. Facebook is great for certain markets. But as a generalized whole, not so much.nnEach market has a half life. AOL had it. Text America had it. Myspace had it. Facebook had it. Twitter has it. nnThey get popular. Get greedy. Users revolt. Find a better network that appreciates them as contributors and not people to advertise to. Then others fallow en mass. It’s difficult to come back after you sell out. Facebook is trying. Twitter will go through it within 6 months I would estimate. nnI appreciate your input. Thanks kammerait :) It was difficult to nail down an equation that worked well regardless of the number of leads you input.

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