Social media marketing is still set as one of the important things to do when it comes to online marketing. However, thanks to a recent report released by Outbrain, it looks like the huge social media machine isn’t providing websites with many visitors at all.
Social Media Drives 11% of Traffic
According to the report, available here, only 11% of website traffic arrives via social media. In comparison, search refers 41% of traffic, and site content refers 31%.
Out of search engines, Google (unsurprisingly) refers the most traffic to websites, followed by AOL, Yahoo, and then Bing.
Social Media Traffic Failure
We’re not sure exactly why this is yet. Some theories suggest that its because people are comfortable in their social media environment, they’re not encouraged to leave it, even to look at other things online. Others have thought that it might be a side-effect of the way people read on the web…they read the headline or title of the post, but they don’t actually go into it, let alone click on
It’s also interesting to note that the 11% of traffic that social media does refer has the lowest number of page views, and the highest bounce rate, per session across the board.
Should You Stop Socialising?
I know I seem a little down on social media here, and you’re right…I am sorta. But that doesn’t make it useless either…it does bring some traffic. 11% of low page view, high bounce rate traffic. It might even bring in a couple of conversions. But it’s not going to keep your website, or your business, afloat.
That doesn’t make it entirely useless though. It’s good for getting the word out about your offering. It’s good for a little brand recognition, and of course, it’s good for engaging with your audience.
But be aware that audience engagement has its own risks. Plenty of companies have gotten badly burned by intemperate use of social media, so if you’re engaging, make sure that you’re really engaged, and PR-smart.
How Do I get Traffic Then?
Well, the best way, long term, is to make sure you’ve got a good SEO plan in place. Long term optimisation is worth much more than social media traffic is. And if you want short-term traffic, then you should probably think about Google Ads.
Ideally, you should combine them…Google Ads for immediacy, SEO for long term credibility.