So you've been listening to your techie nephew talk about Twitter and Facebook . You understand the appeal from the social and networking perspectives -- but you're still stuck on one question: What, exactly, can social media do for your business?

If you look at our experience here at HubSpot, one answer is clear: leads.

social media


The graph above represents leads generated on HubSpot.com from visitors who were originally referred to HubSpot via a social media platform like Twitter or Facebook between April 2008 and March 2010. The data is clear: Social media is a significant, growing lead generation channel.

This is by no means our biggest lead channel, but it's also nothing to sneeze at. Based on the leads alone, social media is worth the time we put into it.

Of course, in addition to leads at the top of our sales and marketing funnel, HubSpot gets other benefits from social media. Twitter and Facebook help us nurture prospects through a sale, they help us build relationships with and retain customers, they help us listen, they help us communicate internally, and much more.

How do we generate those leads? That's a separate blog post ( or webinar! ), but here's one secret: Social media only works as a lead generation tool when you share links to your own content on your own site. It's very hard to generate leads for your business on facebook.com or twitter.com. You have to give community members a reason (great content) to click through to your site.

One last thing: You're probably wondering what caused some of the higher-than-average months in the graph above. They're each months when we published a piece of content that was exceptionally popular on social media. For example, in July 2009 we published the Facebook for Business ebook , our most popular ever.

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Originally published Apr 23, 2010 7:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017

Topics:

Social Media Advertising