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.