While social media may be the prettiest girl at the ball, this study done by demandbase shows that she’s not the best there. In fact, she’s not even close.

78% of all leads – more than three out of four – come from personal connections and referrals, websites and email. Compare that to social media – which generates only 3% of leads. Heck, even “other” beats social media.

Lead Sources 2011

The lesson here for marketers is profound. A big investment in social media is not wise, as it does not deliver results to the bottom line. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Ask for referrals
    It’s THE best source of leads. If you spend the bulk of your time here, you will be well-invested. There is nothing more important in your business.
  • Focus on the website
    Make it the hub of your business – all roads lead there.
  • Get email right – finally
    Spend time designing and testing. Email is too important not to do well.  But it is not as important as referrals and the website.

If you have time on your hands, invest in social media. But don’t starve your other channels to try to generate leads there. What do you think? We love comments and those who share.