Despite the huge attention lavished on social media, it still accounts for only a fraction of the traffic and leads for US B2B websites according to a new report from Optify.

Overall, social accounts for 1.9% of traffic compared to 41% for organic search, however there is potential for it to become a more important and effective channel.

This is a topic we touched on recently in a post about how to use social media to widen your sphere of influence in B2B and in an infographic looking at how B2B companies are currently using social.

Optify’s report found that companies that actively manage social media campaigns (as measured by companies who had more than one lead from social or more than 10 visits per month) have seen comparatively high conversion and engagement rates.

That said, the number of companies able to get these results is low, which Optify suggests shows an immaturity in the use of those channels.

According to the findings, Facebook drives the most traffic compared to Twitter and LinkedIn, but Twitter generates the most leads.

In fact, Twitter achieves a higher conversion rate (2.17%) than the average for all channels combined (1.6%) including organic and paid search. In comparison, LinkedIn and Facebook achieve conversion rates of 0.8% and 0.74% respectively.

But when it comes to the number of pageviews per visit, LinkedIn is the top performer with 2.48, followed by Facebook (1.94) and Twitter (1.51).

Social media breakdown

Overall though, organic search massively outperforms social in terms of traffic and leads.

Organic search drives 41% of traffic to B2B sites, of which Google accounts for 90%, while social contributes an average of only 5% of all traffic and leads.

However Google’s decision to encrypt search data has had a dramatic impact on the ability to track referrals – the rate of ‘not provided’ search terms has increased by 171% since its introduction and now accounts for one of every 2.5 visits from organic search.

There is a way to steal some of the ‘not provided’ data back though using this trick in Google Analytics.

The report also found that email shows high engagement rates with an average of 3.75 pageviews per visit, and achieves the highest comparative conversion rate at 2.9%. This trend is apparently increasing as more B2B marketers turn to email for lead nurturing as well as lead generation.

You can find out more on this topic in our blog post that gives five tips for building stronger B2B email relationships.

B2B conversion rates by source 2012

The data in this report was collected using Optify’s visitor and lead tracking software and includes only US .com sites with between 100 and 100,000 monthly visits.