Danny Wong

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Welcome to the 1st Quarter 2014 edition of the Shareaholic Social Media Traffic Report. In our last study, Facebook, Pinterest and StumbleUpon saw the biggest gains in their respective “share of visits,” a percentage of overall traffic — direct traffic, social referrals, organic search, paid search, etc. — sites received.

Our findings for this new study are based on four months of data collected from 300,000+ websites which reach more than 400 million unique visitors each month.

This report takes a look at how much traffic the 8 most popular social media platforms referred to our network of sites. The Shareaholic network is well diversified, with sites ranging from independent lifestyle blogs to publishing companies to commerce sites. The chart below features data for the months of December 2013 through March 2014. The numbers in the month columns are shown as “share of visits” while the last two columns on the right quantify how much each social network’s respective share has grown or shrunk.

Following the data are 4 important takeaways from this study:

social media report Apr '14 stats

1) Facebook is the supreme king of social referrals

  • Facebook users love to — or can’t help but — click links on their feed. Last month, Facebook drove 21.25% of the overall traffic sites received. Since December, FB’s share of traffic grew 38% (5.81 percentage points).
  • While brands enjoy hating on Facebook for limiting the reach of Pages and then forcing businesses to pay for ads, Facebook still continues to refer loads of traffic to websites when users share links they enjoy with all of their friends. Though, last month, Eat24 caused a ruckus because it initiated a ‘breakup’ with Facebook, brands will never be bold enough to actually prevent users from ‘liking’ or ‘sharing’ things from their sites to Facebook. Eat24′s popular breakup letter received more than 26k Facebook likes and shares. While most brands may have lost faith in their Fan Pages, they know the world’s largest social network will still bless them with tons of organic traffic.

2) Pinterest is the reigning queen of social referrals

  • Pinterest further solidified its 2nd place standing; its share of traffic grew a whopping 48% (2.31 percentage points) since December. Last month, it claimed a 7.10% share of overall traffic, which is orders of magnitude greater than the shares for each of the 6 remaining social networks.
  • For sites overall, Pinners are not the most engaged bunch. For brands though, Piqora states a pin is worth $0.78 in sales.  Naturally, results will vary from site to site.

3) Twitter hangs onto third while StumbleUpon closes in

  • In the 1st quarter, Twitter’s share of overall traffic held steady around 1%. Last month, Twitter managed a 1.14% share of overall traffic, gaining 1.59% (0.02 percentage points) since December.
  • StumbleUpon made surprising progress, driving 0.99% of overall visits to sites last month. SU’s share of traffic grew 14.91% (0.13 percentage points) over Q1.

4) Reddit, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn (mostly) fail to impress

  • Reddit’s 0.21% share didn’t even budge.
  • YouTube was the biggest loser with a meager 0.09% share of overall traffic last month. Its share shrunk by more than half (52%) since December, shedding 0.10 percentage points.
  • For the first time since July 2013, Google+ overtook LinkedIn for 7th place. Over Q1, Google+ grew its share of traffic by 53% (0.03 percentage points) to 0.08% overall. LinkedIn only drove 0.04% of overall traffic to sites; its share shrunk 21% (0.01 percentage points) over Q1.
  • As our Social Referrals That Matter Report noted, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn do drive the most engaged visitors (even though they drive the fewest).

social media traffic report Apr '14 graph

What interesting traffic trends have you noticed over Q1? Also, if you enjoy reading 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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By the way, we’re hiring! See our open positions for more.

Looking for an update to our Social Media Traffic Report? See recently published Shareaholic studies. Questions? Email us: press@shareaholic.com

  • http://reginaldchan.net/ Reginald Chan Xin Yon


    Great write indeed. I am surprised that Youtube and G+ fail to make the stand. Of course, we all know how important FB is. One way or another, you still NEED FB haha.

    Thanks for sharing!


    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Thanks, Reginald. I think the fact is, not enough businesses, marketers and publishers are on G+ and YouTube. FB, Pinterest and Twitter are the default social networks everyone talks about. It’ll take a while before every marketer believes it’s worth developing a G+ strategy. Only then will these numbers really shift.

      • Leonard Sipes

        Hi Danny: Thanks for your answer. A follow-up. If government, associations and nonprofits have no intention to advertise via our Facebook Pages, should we return to Profiles as our Facebook presence? I really appreciate your advise. Best, Len.

        • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

          You’re welcome, Len!

          As for your inquiry, it’s tough to say. If you won’t commit to developing the marketing channel, it’s not worth pursuing at all. It’ll take a lot of time and effort to build a noteworthy FB presence, so if you’re short on resources, I would not recommend it. In many cases, a newly created marketing channel, managed passively, is worse than no channel at all.

  • http://www.debistangeland.com/ Debi Stangeland

    I am definitely keeping an eye on G+. I was at a dinner party recently and the buzz in the room was “We need to figure out G+ and get on there.” Thanks for the numbers. Really good stuff.

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Thank YOU for the comment, Debi. I’m excited to see how these numbers will trend in the coming months!

      • http://www.debistangeland.com/ Debi Stangeland

        I went and read the engagement report you made on 3/31 and that, I think, is what matters. Are you engaging with your audience? G+ is definitely a player there and I find that to be true.

        • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

          We are, but we do need a bit more practice. I, personally, am not the most active person on G+ BUT I do notice that the users are far more engaged there than on other social networks. Will continue working on and improving our G+ presence :)

        • http://www.debistangeland.com/ Debi Stangeland

          Every bit helps. It’s been fun to engage with you, here, today. Thanks for the great content!

  • http://jomergregorio.com/ Jomer Gregorio

    Thanks for sharing these stats! Facebook and Google+ is our major referrals 3rd is Pinterest.

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Nice! I’ve been hearing a lot from avid Google+ users recently who speak highly of the platform.

      • http://jomergregorio.com/ Jomer Gregorio

        Try to engage on communities more often and you will experienced what G+ offer. Active users on G+ are mostly B2B marketers so sharing and interaction is very active.

        • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

          Which one is your favorite G+ community?

        • http://jomergregorio.com/ Jomer Gregorio

          This is one of the most popular communities – feel free to join. https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/116564172151613669656

        • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

          Perfect. Just joined and am looking forward to interacting with everyone!

  • http://www.keshkesh.com/ Takeshi Young

    You guys must not have a lot of tech sites in your network if Pinterest is driving 7% of your traffic and only 1% for Twitter.

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Hi Takeshi, of the tech sites you’ve worked with, how many referrals did Twitter end up driving?

      • http://www.keshkesh.com/ Takeshi Young

        Hi Danny, I haven’t personally worked with any tech sites, but I find it hard to believe that sites like Techcrunch only get 1% of their traffic from Twitter vs Pinterest, especially if you look at the sharing activity of their userbase.

        My personal background is in Internet Marketing, where Twitter can drive 15-30% traffic, and Facebook is not so high. Even LinkedIn is a higher driver of traffic than Pinterest.

        However, your numbers are definitely inline with ecommerce sites I have worked with.

        • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

          Great points. I certainly wouldn’t bet highly on Pinterest driving a large share of Techcrunch’s traffic.

          It is also important to note that high share counts do not necessarily translate into clicks (and visits). I’d invite you to join this Twitter thread here: https://twitter.com/AndreaVahl/status/458323768352735232

          Much thanks for sharing numbers you’ve seen. Our data is certainly unique because it is aggregated across so many sites. Naturally, every site will have different numbers. Each site will cater to a different audience and will execute a unique social media strategy.

  • onreact

    Where is Tumblr on this list? I can’t believe they perform worse than Google+ and LinkedIn.

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Historically, Tumblr has underperformed. That being said, I’ll keep a careful eye out to see if it drives a noteworthy amount of visits. If it does, I’ll be sure to include it in our next report! How many referrals does Tumblr typically send your way?

  • Guest

    Well, to be fair for youtube: the reason why Youtube ranks so low in sharing is not the problem with Youtube as a social media platform, it’s that Youtube already has excellent sharing features in place. Would you really use the Shareaholic to share youtube videos? If I’m sharing a youtube video, I’m going to use their sharing features, not Shareaholic’s.

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Apologies for the confusion. I should have done a better job explaining our methodology. Our analytics track all inbound traffic to sites, not just traffic via our share buttons. I think the reason YouTube drives so few referrals is because a limited number of sites have developed a sophisticated YouTube strategy. If every site in our network managed a YouTube channel, I’m confident these numbers would be different. Unfortunately, only a select number of sites do, so you get small numbers like these.

  • Susan

    Hard to believe that g+ failed to impress. For me g+ and pinterest comes in first and second position

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Understandably, your stats will differ from ours. This is likely because your marketing is geared more towards G+ and that’s wonderful! Many sites haven’t yet implemented a solid G+ strategy, which is why, in the aggregate, G+ doesn’t perform so well.

  • Leonard Sipes

    Hi Danny: Please answer a question that perplexes many of us in the government, association and nonprofit sectors. So where the H are all the Facebook referrals coming from? Most (all?) of us will not advertise to support our Pages thus Facebook seems dead to us. Should we return to Profiles? Thanks, Len.

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Hi Leonard, thanks for your comment. Though sites do not always explicitly promote their content to Facebook, users (and readers) may share your content with their friends on Facebook, thus driving referrals. Hope that makes sense!

  • http://www.linkworxseo.com/ Link Worx Seo

    Some interesting numbers posted here. I do not use the Shareaholic very often anymore. Have been using BufferApp.

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Thanks for the kind words. What do you think we could have done to make your experience better?

  • http://crushsocial.net WeCrushSocial

    Great job mate. I’m down in Sydney and this data is such a great confirmation when talking with clients. As much hating that’s happening with Facebook, it’s an incredible tool for websites. It’s also great to see Google+ make the move up and I’m sure we all agree the trend will continue to rise. Once again, can’t say GREAT JOB enough. Cheers.

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Thank you! Glad this is helpful :)

  • http://reputationhunter.fr/ Reputation Hunter

    I personally don’t understand how to use correctly pinterest in my social strategy. I’m maybe old school, but I cannot see interest in this network…

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      You’re not necessarily old school. If Pinterest is not a popular destination for your customers, then there may be little value for you in targeting Pinners.

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