It won’t come as a surprise to many to learn that Facebook holds the majority market share for driving referral traffic to publisher websites of all the social media sites. Google+ has fairly woeful referral figures while Pinterest holds second place and Twitter is in third. Facebook has made significant gains over the past year while Pinterest has enjoyed rejuvenated figures in the past month or so. The figures come courtesy of a study by Shareaholic, the social sharing button service.
One of the primary goals of a social media marketing campaign is to encourage users to like, share, and forward content to friends, family, and colleagues. Such actions are considered a glowing recommendation and offer validation to publishers as well as additional exposure. However, the ultimate goal of such campaigns is to drive visitors from social media content to actual business owned websites and web pages. Knowing which of the social media sites offers the best results can help drive a more effective social media marketing campaign.
As the largest of all social media sites, and the one with considerably more members than any of its nearest rivals, it is hardly surprising that Facebook comes out on top, as the site that drives the most referral traffic. Perhaps what is surprising, although not to those that have studied its progress, is how poorly Google+ performs in the same metrics.
Shareaholic studied data from 200,000 publishers and produced results for 8 of the most popular social media websites to see how they compare against one another and compared to the same time last year. Facebook saw a 58.8% increase from the year before and now accounts for 10.37% of referrals to websites. Google+ saw an increase of just 6.97% and only reached 0.04% in September 2013.
The greatest gains were experienced by Pinterest. Their 2.21% referrals in September 2012 increased to 3.24% this year making the second most popular referrer of social media traffic. Twitter was in third with 1.17% while StumbleUpon and Reddit, despite both seeing their own stock decrease over the period, were in fourth and fifth with 0.58% and 0.36% respectively.