Software // Social
News
7/23/2014
11:58 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Facebook Referral Traffic Skyrockets

Facebook drove nearly one-quarter of all Web traffic in June while other social networks experienced significant drops, says new report.

Facebook Privacy: 10 Settings To Check
Facebook Privacy: 10 Settings To Check
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Facebook still reigns supreme as the top driver of social referrals, despite news feed algorithm changes that caused some brands' organic reach to plummet. According to a new report, Facebook drove nearly one-quarter of all Web traffic last month.

Facebook was the only social network to post an increase in social media traffic referrals, according to data from Shareaholic, which took into account more than 300,000 sites and more than 400 million unique monthly visitors. Every other social network in the top eight posted double-digit drops from 10% to 57% between May and June, the report found.

In June, Facebook generated more than 23% of the total share of visits to Shareaholic's network of websites -- a 10% increase from March. Facebook's social referral gains are even more impressive year-over-year: Since June 2013, its share of traffic has skyrocketed, up more than 150%.

[User satisfaction with social networks remains low. Read Social Networks Bomb In Customer Satisfaction.]

"Users are always plugged into their feed, and without realizing tend to be highly invested in frequent check-ins and lightweight touch points with their connections," said Shareaholic lead marketer Danny Wong. "Simply put, Facebook is winning the referrals war because users can't seem to get enough of content shared by close friends and relatable acquaintances."

In the past year, the 8 largest sources of social referrals drove 31% of overall traffic sites received last month, the report said, compared to just over 15% during the same time last year.

While Facebook's social referrals skyrocketed, every other top social site struggled in the last quarter. No. 2 social referrer Pinterest dropped more than 19% to a 5.7% stake in referral traffic, though its share grew nearly 70% since last year.  Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn also saw significant drops in Q2.

YouTube (-32%), Google+ (-21%), and LinkedIn (-57%) all experienced declines between March and June, but even more so over the past year: YouTube's share of referral visits dropped nearly 83%, while LinkedIn's dropped 77% and Google+ experienced a 20% decrease, according to the report.

Wong attributed YouTube's decrease to expense -- not all businesses have the resources to develop high-quality videos that their audience wants to view and share, he said. And because Google+ "arrived late to the game," it failed to grow user adoption as most marketers and publishers still don't understand its value.

Wong sees more potential for a rebound in LinkedIn, mostly due to its new open publishing platform, but he said the site is likely becoming more a source for stories.

"I've also seen a ton of engagement in groups or status update threats and in the comments of posts," he noted. "Is there a chance LinkedIn has become insular? I would think so. But another diagnosis of LinkedIn's anemia can be that its 'professionals-only' image is deterring many users from taking full advantage of the platform."

In its ninth year, Interop New York (Sept. 29 to Oct. 3) is the premier event for the Northeast IT market. Strongly represented vertical industries include financial services, government, and education. Join more than 5,000 attendees to learn about IT leadership, cloud, collaboration, infrastructure, mobility, risk management and security, and SDN, as well as explore 125 exhibitors' offerings. Register with Discount Code MPIWK to save $200 off Total Access & Conference Passes.

Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
7/24/2014 | 11:48:22 AM
Re: Google+
So true. Having no API at this point is just suicidal.
Whoopty
50%
50%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
7/24/2014 | 11:10:24 AM
Not surprised
Although those numbers are higher than I'd have expected, I'm not surprised that Facebook is driving so much traffic. Several website owners that I'm on good terms with have been impressed by how much their businesses have grown after establishing a solid prescence on the site. 
asksqn
50%
50%
asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
7/23/2014 | 6:04:38 PM
LinkedIn: A Cyberstalker's Best Resource
<excerpt>

[...]another diagnosis of LinkedIn's anemia can be that its 'professionals-only' image is deterring many users from taking full advantage of the platform."

</excerpt>

 

Seriously?  Should be qualified with if you regard "professionals only" as spamming, scamming, and unchecked anonymous lurking.
Michael Endler
50%
50%
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
7/23/2014 | 5:36:43 PM
Re: Google+
Completely agree. When I can easily post to more than one social network, I do, but if I have to do so separately, the "secondary" network usually gets abandoned.
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
7/23/2014 | 2:48:41 PM
Google+
I'm convinced Google+ could have grown more if it didn't deliberately isolate itself by not having an API to post content. No one wants to post to multiple social networks. It's hardly a surprise that given a choice between Facebook and Google+, people when with the established player. An easy way to post to both Facebook and Google+ would have at least created the illusion of life at Google+.
Social is a Business Imperative
Social is a Business Imperative
The use of social media for a host of business purposes is rising. Indeed, social is quickly moving from cutting edge to business basic. Organizations that have so far ignored social - either because they thought it was a passing fad or just didnít have the resources to properly evaluate potential use cases and products - must start giving it serious consideration.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014
Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 16, 2014.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.