How Do Agencies Generate Leads? Only 17% Buy Ads on Social Networks

Only 17% of Ad/PR Agencies Use Paid Advertising on Social Networks for Lead GenHow are advertising and public relations agencies generating leads and finding new clients for themselves?  For most, the answer to that question does not include advertising on social media.  While social media plays a big part in client campaigns, it’s not the preferred platform for lead generation for the agencies themselves.

According to new research from digital marketing agency lonelybrand, only 17% of ad and PR agencies currently purchase ads in social network for lead generation purposes, as reported by eMarketer. What networks were the most popular?  Facebook leads the pack with 13% of respondents purchasing advertising on the social network, while 4% do so on LinkedIn and 2% on Twitter.

Of those who do advertise via social networks, the amount invested varied greatly.  32% of agencies spent less than $1,000 per month advertising on social networks, while on the other end of the spectrum, 23% (nearly one-quarter) spent more than $10,000/month on social ads.

The percentage of agencies using paid ads on social networks for lead generation contrasts sharply with the percentage of these agencies that are using social networks in general: 85% use Facebook, 66% use LinkedIn, and 45% use Twitter.  Many of these companies preferred to focus on marketing on social networks, rather than paying to advertise.

Nearly one-quarter (24%) believe social media is important, but “don’t understand how to effectively integrate it” into lead generation processes.

Additional key data about social media and business development:

  • 17% of ad agencies and 25% of PR firms use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for business development (finding new prospects, closing new business opportunities)
  • 45% wish their company had more resources to support business development efforts in social media
  • Nearly half (49%) of ad agencies and 83% of PR firms plan to increase budgets for business development on these platforms in 2012

Is it surprising that ad and PR agencies are using social media for themselves and their clients, but not using paid advertising on these platforms to generate more business?

For more data, download lonelybrand’s Agency Growth Blueprint 2012 report.