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  1. #1
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    Social Media Makes Up Nearly A Third Of All Referral Traffic

    Social Media Makes Up Nearly A Third Of All Referral Traffic, + More Stats
    by Matt Southern, SearchEngineJournal
    January 26, 2015

    Social software company Shareaholic argues that the shift from search to social is here with the release of a new set of data that reveals social media referral traffic is up 22.71% from this time last year.

    In total, in December 2014 top 8 social networks drove 31.24% of overall traffic to web sites. These networks include Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
    ....

    • Facebook’s share of traffic grew 277.26% (from 6.53% to 24.63%). Americans are also spending considerably more time on Facebook, from 15.5 minutes per day in 2011 to 42.1 minutes per day in 2014.
    • Pinterest’s share grew 684.86% (from 0.65% to 5.06%). However, Pinterest’s growth has hit a plateau — to continue growing its user base the report suggests the social network needs to “shed its isolating for-women-only image” and develop more mass-market appeal.
    • All six remaining social networks (Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, G+, LinkedIn, YouTube) saw their shares decline, making up less than 2% of web traffic. YouTube was decimated, losing 94.76% of its share (from 0.24% down to 0.01%). The report suggests that Facebook’s auto-play videos have led to YouTube’s sharp decline of referral traffic.
    • As for traffic from the other social networks, that’s on the decline as well. Since 2011, Google+ and LinkedIn have both lost one third of their share of referral traffic, Reddit’s share is down by half, and Twitter’s share has roughly stayed the same.
    read more...

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  3. #2
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    Re: Social Media Makes Up Nearly A Third Of All Referral Traffic

    Interesting stats. I wonder how well social media referrals convert though. I recently conducted a survey of over 120 digital marketing agencies and talked to them about their lead generation strategies - Interestingly, most people had set a low priority for social media referrals considering they do not convert as much as other sources including cold calls.

  4. #3
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    Re: Social Media Makes Up Nearly A Third Of All Referral Traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by leadjoint View Post
    Interesting stats. I wonder how well social media referrals convert though. I recently conducted a survey of over 120 digital marketing agencies and talked to them about their lead generation strategies - Interestingly, most people had set a low priority for social media referrals considering they do not convert as much as other sources including cold calls.
    That's not been my experience. My wife started her business with a Facebook page and sharing those posts on her personal page. She also ran specials and draws which required people to Like and Share her business Facebook page as an entry into the draws. She has a regular webpage and has used othr local promotional tools as well but most of her referrals are still coming from Facebook and word of mouth.

    Facebook is an interesting and different advertising medium because of the way the news feed is structured and because any share of your page is also seen by friends of the one who shared it, friends of those friends, etc., etc. And paid Facebook "boosts" are still a lot cheaper than Adwords.

    Until she started doing this, I would have expected Facebook to be a poor referral source. But it simply is not so at all.

  5. #4
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    Re: Social Media Makes Up Nearly A Third Of All Referral Traffic

    Great data set!

    1. This is why we don't use Pinterest - declining user base, and confusing to marketers.
    (When Coke stops posting - that's a sign!)

    2. We do promote on G+ but it doesn't deliver the referrals back. (We do get lot's of pageviews on it - and that's been growing every month)

    3. We actively post on Facebook and Boost some posts.

    Our FB conversions have been excellent. Some campaigns have had over 5% conversion and in our vertical that's pretty high.

    Side note - I might just fire up Analytics and post some screen shots.

  6. #5
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    Re: Social Media Makes Up Nearly A Third Of All Referral Traffic

    He almost lost me at "the shift from search to social is here." Anybody who believes that is clueless.

    Then he said no, he doesn't think that's the case.

    Ok, so it's an article about how many people use social media. Awesome.

    Social media will not drive conversions at near the rate of many other channels for most companies. I don't think that will change.
    John Crenshaw
    Razorlight Media, Recently acquired by Oodle.io

  7. #6
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    Social Media Makes Up Nearly A Third Of All Referral Traffic

    I think that very much depends on the business and the business owner. I am seeing some people do very well with Facebook at least (never was much into Pinterest or Twitter).

    From the article it appears that other social media sites are less successful than Facebook.

    But either way, I think it's a mistake to ignore the potential of social media for small business.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #7
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    Re: Social Media Makes Up Nearly A Third Of All Referral Traffic

    First of all, this isn't really directed at you. I respect your point of view.

    I just have a strange compulsion to temper the absolute rabid social media hype that exists out there. This is more toward that hype in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by djbaxter View Post
    I think that very much depends on the business and the business owner. I am seeing some people do very well with Facebook at least (never was much into Pinterest or Twitter).
    I've worked on a lot of projects. I'm pretty skilled with lots of ways to track things using various analytics packages and I've worked with internal teams that are much better than me.

    I've never seen one company, ever, in 8 years of doing this, that generated leads or sales from social media at a rate that was even remotely comparable to other channels.

    The exceptions are inherently social businesses. My CrossFit gym, for example, seems to do well on Facebook.

    That said, I don't think driving lead gen or direct sales is the point of social media anyway and shouldn't be approached as if it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by djbaxter View Post
    From the article it appears that other social media sites are less successful than Facebook.
    First, that article is so self-serving (for Shareaholic) it's ridiculous. Of course Shareaholic will promote a "study" that suggests social media is good. They are a social media company.

    Second, the data they are reporting on is from a "network of opt-in websites that utilize [Shareaholic's] marketing and publishing tools." I could find no data as to who those websites actually are.

    But wow. That level of sampling bias wouldn't pass a college-level stats 101 course.

    This isn't a study. It's an advertisement.

    Quote Originally Posted by djbaxter View Post
    But either way, I think it's a mistake to ignore the potential of social media for small business.
    Maybe, but definitely not the way most people do it, and definitely not if the goal is driving leads or sales for a company that's not inherently social.

    There is so much of this garbage content all over the web pretending to be some form of science, especially related to social media.

    I understand rigorous scientific studies or experiments are pretty difficult, if not impossible in this field, but lets at least quit pretending like they are happening.

    Somewhere along the line, someone realized if you have a bunch of flunkies export SQL data, put it into a blog post with graphs, and call it a study, every blog in the industry will link to it, talk about it, and take it as truth.

    These are not studies. These are not evidence of this stuff working or not working. These are advertisements. Let's stop pretending otherwise.

    :rant complete
    John Crenshaw
    Razorlight Media, Recently acquired by Oodle.io

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