Driving robust traffic to a brand’s website is one of the prime objectives of any ad campaigns or promotional event run by marketers on various networks, if consumers or fan followers visit brand websites after viewing the ads and engage in some form, half the success is achieved. Website traffic can come via social media referrals, organic search, direct traffic or paid search and a whole lot more. According to a study by Shareaholic, which analyzed data collected over the last 13 months across 200,000+ sites that reach more than 250 million unique monthly users across top 5 search engines, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), Ask, AOL and Bing and major social media networking sites like Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), Pinterest, Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR), StumbleUpon and Reddit, reported a whopping 110% increase in social referral traffic rate in the last 13 months.
A couple of years ago, when social media was at infancy stage, marketers preferred investing on SEO marketing to get higher ranks on search engines. But the trend is reversing as social media industry is booming and is expected to soar higher in years to come driving extensive referral traffic to brand websites.
If we analyze the table above, the share of organic search traffic is fluctuating between 39% – 43% in the last 13 months. Overall average share of organic search traffic is around 41.45% which marks a dip by 5.87% in last one year. Shareaholic further predicted that a handful of search engines are likely to see sudden growth in their personal market shares compared to the growth in the overall market share. The main reason attributed to the above statement is – web users usually reference search engines when they need any information.
People are increasingly consuming news related to latest trends, politics, brands, job hiring and a lot more on various social media networks and by mutual discussions with their friends and relatives. Hence, they are well acquainted with various brand names and whenever they are looking to buy some product or search for some information, they directly type out the website URL (direct traffic) or provide reference to the Google search engine with the brand name or any close-by keyword. If a person is looking for a particular book and needs it pretty urgently at an optimized cost, he would type out Flipkart, Amazon or Snapdeal and browse for the desired product in the online store website rather than searching for the top e-commerce site in India, fastest delivering online store or online store selling books at best prices.
Brand marketers should increasingly adopt multiple channels/platforms and embrace the latest marketing technology by practicing them periodically to maintain brand recognition and establish a steady foothold in the market. Followers are bound to arrive at the website from various undiscovered or lesser known networking channels or platforms, hence it is important to maintain presence in every single channel possible. SEO is an important factor as well, as a significant amount of web users still prefer knowing about any particular brand through organic search.
The social media industry is booming in terms of driving referral traffic to brand websites, the social media titan Facebook accounts for more than 10% of referral traffic rate to websites and is spiking up by 170% year over year. B2c firms acquire more than 77% of their customers through Facebook. The world’s largest professional networking website, LinkedIn drives close to 64% of referral traffic to corporate websites and B2B firms. Pinterest has taken the e-commerce section by surprise accounting for over 10% of visits.
In the graph below, we can observe that social referral traffic rate spiked up by 110.95% in the last 13 months and is expected to soar higher in years to come. Pinterest recently introduced the holiday gift guide and holiday gifts feed to help shoppers with suggestions for gifts amidst the hottest shopping holiday season. Related pins also guided Pinterest users to follow more topics which are close enough match to their interest topics. Facebook revamped its like and share button to provide better browsing experience, custom audience feature was initiated for better targeting of ads to a relevant audience, news feed revamp has materialized as people were browsing for the latest news on social media sites (Website traffic through Facebook for media publishing sites increased by 170% in the last 1 year). The above described measures have lead to an explosive referral traffic to websites through social media websites.
Social media is the daily go to marketing option and brand presence on all the major networking sites is inevitable for the marketing team of brand firms. Brand marketers must actively involve and update their brand accounts on various social media sites. A major portion of investment must be focused towards social media marketing as it has 58% more outreach than any other network. Social media networks drive potential customers to brand websites, hence marketers must scale up their social media activity and must actively post questions, informative blogs, news and engage with their followers.