Social media has officially trumped Search as the main source of traffic to websites! Well, at least according to Shareaholic.
In their latest report on social media traffic trends, Shareholic updated that social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and others were responsible for driving 31.24% of overall traffic to websites in December 2014. This was a sizable 22.71% increase over the same period last year.
Shareholic’s report coincided with an earlier blog post on Buzzfeed where social media was purported to have officially overtaken search as the number one source of website traffic from September 2014 onwards.
Looking at the chart from Shareaholic above, it appeared that Facebook clearly rules in this arena. In the last three months of 2014, it drove over a quarter of the traffic to websites.
Coming a somewhat distant second was (surprise surprise!) Pinterest. Apparently, Pinterest referred over 5% of web traffic over the 4 months of 2014.
Beyond Facebook and Pinterest, other social platforms and websites did not do much for web traffic. The almighty Twitter referred less than 1% of web traffic. Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube hardly even registered a blip (see details in the table below from Shareaholic).
If we look at the figures over a longer time period (see chart below from Shareaholic), the differences between the social platforms become even more stark. Facebook grew from driving about 5-6% of website traffic in end 2011 to quintupling its traffic referrals to 25% in just over three years. During the same period, Pinterest grew quite respectably (although it dropped again towards the last few months of 2014) while the other social platforms barely made an impact.
As you can see, referred web traffic isn’t spread evenly across all social networks. Driving the lion’s share of referred web traffic, Facebook is certainly a force to be reckoned with, followed by Pinterest and Twitter.
Do these results mean that we should forget about SEO and park all our marketing dollars with Facebook? Well, I don’t think that’s wise to do. While the impact of Search may have declined, it still accounts for a significant share of referred web traffic and may be relevant for B2B and less consumer-oriented businesses.
What then could we do? Here are some thoughts to spark off your imagination with:
Naturally, there are tonnes of other ways in which you can boost your social media presence. Consider following this list of Top 10 Social Media Marketing blogs from Social Media Examiner (one of my favourite social media marketing blogs).
You may also wish to read the following good books to help you to optimize your social media marketing strategies:
Oh, and do check back often to Cooler Insights as we bring you the latest tips on content, influencer and social media marketing.
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