Twitter is superior to Facebook in the art of lead generation, according to new Optify research. The annual B2B Benchmarking Report discovered that the microblogging platform surpassed Facebook by nine to one in lead generation campaigns.

The good news continued for Twitter. Its conversion rate of 2.17% was not only higher than Facebook’s 0.74% and LinkedIn’s 0.8%, but also the average of other sources (1.6%) such as organic search and direct.

However, Facebook does win when it comes to the volume of traffic it drives. Optify found that the Facebook contributed to 54% of visits from social networks. Twitter was next, only managing 32% and Linkedin could muster just 14%.

B2C similarities

Similar results were encountered in the B2C market by Magnetise and Peter Gowrie-Smith, MD of the company, felt there were two big reasons for the findings. He thinks Facebook’s closed network holds it back, whereas the nuggets of information produced by Twitter gives it an advantage.

“Firstly the relatively ‘closed network’ mindset of Facebook can be a barrier to transferring ‘likes’ on Facebook into activity and sales off Facebook; and secondly the ‘bite-size content’ approach of Twitter, which naturally results in members consuming and connecting with a wider range of communications.

Optify also looked into organic search, which was the number one driver of traffic across all channels. It accounted for 41% of all visits to B2B websites. Google was found to be responsible for 90% of all organic search and 36% of all traffic comes from one of the search giant’s web properties.

Moving to paid search, Optify revealed that the channel has been struggling of late. Its usage actually declined in 2012, with over 10% of companies in the study discontinuing their paid search at some point in 2012.

The Optify B2B Benchmarking contains many more interesting stats, some of which can be found in the infographic below.

Optify infographic