Danny Wong

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Shareaholic Social Media Traffic Report. A full quarter has passed since we published our last studyNow we’re back with more interesting news. 

Our findings are based on four months of data collected from over 200,000 websites which reach more than 250 million unique visitors each month.

We sought to understand how much traffic the 8 largest social media platforms referred to our network of sites. Below, we’ve presented data for the months of September through December 2013. The numbers in the month columns are represented as “share of visits,” a percentage of overall traffic — direct traffic, social referrals, organic search, paid search, etc. — sites received.* Additionally, we’ve calculated how much each social network’s share of visits grew or declined.

Here is the data, followed by a summary of the 4 main findings:

Social Media Traffic Report Jan '14 stats

1) Facebook, Pinterest and StumbleUpon saw the strongest gains. These were the only social platforms to have seen their share of overall visits grow substantially. Facebook’s share grew 48.85% (up 5.07 percentage points), Pinterest’s share grew 30.06% (up 1.11 percentage points) and StumbleUpon’s share grew 54.36% (up 0.30 percentage points). Facebook holds the top spot in the social referrals rankings. Last month, this behemoth of a social network drove more than twice the referrals all 7 of the other social media platforms sent to sites, combined.

2) Twitter’s share was pretty flat. Since September, Twitter’s share of overall visits went down a mere 4.31% (shedding 0.05 percentage points). The preferred hangout for journalists, Twitter maintained its #3 spot on this list.

3) Reddit and YouTube saw (relatively) large dips. Reddit’s share of overall visits shrunk 17.68% since September (losing 0.05 percentage points). In that same time period, YouTube’s share went down 34.97% (-0.10 percentage points).

4) LinkedIn and Google+ are hanging out in last place. LinkedIn’s share was down 26.96% while Google+’s share was up 18.98%. But given their tiny contributions to sites’ overall traffic, these translate to a loss of 0.02 percentage points for LinkedIn and a gain of 0.01 percentage points for Google+. The two now drive roughly the same amount of visits to sites, and were tied last month as the 7th leading source of social traffic.

Social Media Traffic Report Jan '14 graph

How have social referrals trended for your site over Q4? By the way, if you enjoy our data reports and don’t want to miss out on the next one, click the image below and subscribe to our blog.

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* Our data is represented as “share of visits” because the volume of visits (and uniques) our publishers receive changes month-to-month. In September, we tracked 250mm uniques; last month, we reviewed data for 322mm unique visitors. Visits grew by a comparable clip too. Ultimately, sharing our raw data — hundreds of millions of visits — wouldn’t enable site owners to appropriately benchmark their site’s traffic against what sites in our network received. 

Want the latest quarterly update to our Social Media Traffic Report? See our most recent Shareaholic studies. Questions? Email us: press@shareaholic.com

66 Responses to “In Q4, Facebook, Pinterest and StumbleUpon saw 30%+ gains in referrals [REPORT]”

  1. Hi Danny,

    interesting results. One question: The 200,000 websites are from all around the world or only US?

  2. David Sun says:

    Hi Danny,

    Any chance of getting an idea of the absolute numbers here? Facebook share grew, but it would be interesting to know if they managed to do this in a growing/flat/shrinking market.

    • Danny Wong says:

      David,

      Thanks for asking!

      Unfortunately, we cannot provide insight on whether or not the market is growing / is flat / is shrinking. In September, we tracked 250 million uniques. In December, we tracked 322 million. Total visits grew by a comparable clip too. This is *mostly* because our network of sites has grown. Some of those sites have likely grown their unique counts. Others may have seen their respective uniques decline. Also, like all businesses, we experienced a bit of churn, so some of the sites we tracked in September were no longer part of the network in December. There are other variables at play too (i.e. shift in traffic acquisition focus for sites).

  3. Nice social stats we like!

  4. Kimberly Reynolds says:

    We’ve seen a huge surge in Pinterest traffic referrals in Q4 2013 (up over 500% compared to Q3 2013 and over 1500% compared to Q4 2012). We’ve also had a huge dropoff in Facebook traffic compared to Q4 2012 since they swung heavily in favor of paid promotion for post sharing. Pinterest is by far our number one social media source of traffic.

  5. paul says:

    Thanks for the share.

    But it seems like your social buttons showed otherwise. This post was able to get 174 Facebook Likes as of this writing. Followed by 107 tweets, 67 shares to LinkedIn, and only 17 Pins. The above data should serve as a guide. But it all depends on the quality of the content, and the audience you are targeting to. There are many factors that come into play, but the data above greatly helps. Thanks

    Cheers

    • Danny Wong says:

      Excellent observation, Paul. Also, great points! Our readers aren’t exactly on Pinterest (at least, our current readers aren’t… yet). A healthy number seem to be on LinkedIn, and we’re very much positioned well for a strong Twitter game :).

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