Here is some great proof of Twitter’s power as a lead generation engine. However there is a very large, very important difference in the lead generation compared to Google.
Twitter and Facebook are great for marketing to current customers for cross-selling and promotions since the audience a priori self-selected followers of a brand, where Google is better for finding new customers.
Given the social nature of Twitter and Facebook, this is logical. They serve the role of customer relationship management rather than new user acquisition.
Whether Twitter and Facebook build businesses will be larger in value than Google over the long run will be driven by the types of companies that leverage Twitter and Facebook to market.
Businesses that sell free or low cost items with routine up and cross sell (like games), will triumph on T and F – and we have seen that with $1B in virtual goods this year. But business relying on these tools for new user acquisition will be at a disadvantage. Underscoring this point are the widespread reports of high CAQ’s of Facebook ads.
Looking for new customers: go to Google
Looking to cross or upsell your customers: get on Facebook and Twitter