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Many marketers consider social media to be an effective channel in the early engagement stage of the funnel. And, while two-thirds (64%) of marketers say they have a specific plan in place to use social media for lead generation, the verdict may still be out on how effective the channel is, per a recent study [download page] from Social Media Today and SharpSpring.

The survey of more than 320 marketers from the Social Media Today community found that 45% of respondents are either somewhat (38%) or extremely (7%) satisfied with the lead volume that they receive from using social media for lead generation. However, that’s almost matched by the 38% who report being either somewhat (30%) or extremely (8%) dissatisfied.

Although more respondents were satisfied than not with the volume of leads they generate from social media, the same cannot be said for the quality of leads generated. Some 37% of respondents reported some level of dissatisfaction with the quality of leads social media generates compared to 35% who are satisfied. This finding runs in contrast to previous research from Ascend2, which found 60% of the B2C and B2B marketers it surveyed feeling that social media was one of their most effective tactics for improving the quality of leads generated.

Overall, though, marketers seem generally happy with their use of social media for lead generation. Despite the mixed feelings, considerably more respondents to the Social Media Today study are satisfied (43%) than dissatisfied (30%) with the overall volume and quality of leads generated through social media.

When it comes to using social media for lead generation, only one-third (32%) of respondents say they feel their current marketing activities are optimized for lead generation. Many see automation as a possible answer to this problem with 7 in 10 (69%) saying they would consider automating more elements of their lead generation process and almost three-quarters (73%) saying they feel that automation tools will, at some point, have a significant impact on the way their business generates leads

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 328 marketers in the Social Media Today community.

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