YouTube is the “undisputed champion” among social networks in terms of driving referrals, delivering the most traffic and the highest levels of engagement, according to a new study from Shareaholic. The analysis of average visit duration, pages per visit and bounce rate reveals which of the top eight social media platforms are driving the best referral traffic.
YouTube drives the most engaged referrals, with the lowest average bounce rate (43.19%), the highest pages per visit (2.99) and the longest visit duration (227.82 seconds). Viewers clearly engage longer with video, and are quite receptive to clicking on related content.
Both Google+ and LinkedIn drive the fewest social referrals out of the eight platforms studies, but the visitors they bring in are high quality. Google+ users spend more than 3 minutes on average examining content, visit 2.45 pages, and have a low bounce rate of 50.63%. LinkedIn users spend an average of 2 minutes and 13 seconds per click, view 2.23 pages and bounce 51.28% of the time. While traffic from these two social networks remains low, engagement is impressive.
Tied in fourth place are Twitter and Facebook, with similar results. Bounce rate is the same for both platforms (56.35%), and while Twitter referrals view 2.15 pages per visit, Facebook users view 2.03 pages. Facebook users stay on site for 127.44 seconds, Twitter users for slightly less (123.10).
As for the remaining three platforms:
- Pinterest sees a similar bounce rate to Twitter and Facebook, but just 1.71 pages per visit, and about half the average visit duration (64.67 seconds)
- Reddit users show a high bounce rate (70.16%)
- StumbleUpon comes in last, with the least engaged referrals: 1.5 pages per visit and just 54.99 seconds on site
How much traffic does your site receive from social media referrals? How engaged are those visitors with your content?
The study examined 6 months of data (Sept 2013 – Feb 2014) across Shareaholic’s network of 200,000+ sites reaching more than 250 million unique monthly visitors. Download the report here: Shareaholic’s “Social Referrals That Matter” Report.
Revenue per visit Q4 2013 [Adobe report]
Visits from Facebook still provide the highest return, but Tumblr just rose to the #2 slot in terms of revenue per visit, with a 340% increase from last year. A new study from Adobe
reveals a record-setting fourth quarter 0f 2013 in terms of revenue from social media visitors, and Tumblr’s growth rate was the highest among all social media networks.
“Tumblr is the dark horse of high-quality traffic,” Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst for the Adobe Digital Index, told AdWeek. While last year Tumblr was at the bottom of the heap, now visits from Tumblr are worth more than referrals from Twitter and Pinterest.
The actual numbers:
- a visit from Facebook is worth $1.22
- from Tumblr, $1.10
- from Pinterest, $0.93
- from Twitter, $0.83
Another important takeaway from the report: Facebook’s share of referral visits is dropping (15% year-over-year) while shares are rising for Twitter (referred visits up 125% year-over-year) and Pinterest (up 89%). In terms of overall referral traffic numbers, Tumblr is well behind the other three.
In addition, while revenue per visit has risen impressively for Tumblr, recent reports indicate traffic for the social network has been dwindling since Yahoo acquired the platform back in May 2013.
Where does that leave marketers? Tumblr’s revenue per visit has reached an impressive high, but traffic and referrals on the platform are not seeing significant growth. Is your brand working to engage consumers on Tumblr?
A recent report by Compete looked at the top referral sites to Facebook – by growth – in November 2011. While holiday shopping season ensured that retailers dominated the list, smaller social media sites – Meebo and Pinterest – also saw a significant jump in referrals to Facebook. In addition, the study showed that larger social media networks are referring traffic back to smaller sites: traffic from Twitter to Pinterest grew nearly 50% from October to November 2011.
Compete’s analysis of US web traffic revealed the top ten sources of referrals to Facebook, with Meebo right at the top, and Pinterest in the midst of retail brands capitalizing on heavy holiday traffic. Meebo’s US referral traffic to Facebook grew 314.48% in November 2011 compared to the previous month; Pinterest’s referrals rose 57.22%.
Facebook is also directing a fair share of traffic back to smaller social sites; both Pinterest and Twitter were listed among the top 10 growing site destinations for traffic coming from Facebook in the US. The same holds true for Twitter: the share of Tumblr’s traffic referred to the site from Twitter climbed 817.78% from October to November 2011, Meebo’s traffic derived from Twitter climbed 262.05%, Pinterest’s increased 48.61% and Instagram’s grew 40.80%.
According to the study, “Examining sites that direct visitors to Facebook is an important practice for an online marketer looking to create social engagement with their customers or prospects,” and it labels Meebo.com as a “site to watch” for its ability to generate referrals.
The study then asks, “As an online marketer, how are you going to meet your customers and potential customers where they spend the most time and furthermore, how are you going to then entice those users to make your page the next stop in their session?” Marketers need to start looking at which of the smaller social media sites might work for their brand, and then begin incorporating efforts on those platforms with their larger digital presence, including Facebook.