Danny Wong

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Welcome to part two of October’s Shareaholic Social Media Traffic Report. Earlier this month, we published findings that revealed Facebook referral traffic exploded over the last year. Among our 200,000 publishers who reach more than 250 million people each month, Facebook referrals grew 58.81%. Last month, Facebook referrals contributed more than 10% of the overall traffic our publishers received.

As the #1 social media site referring traffic to publishers (nearly 3x the number of referrals Pinterest, which held the #2 spot, sent), it’s worth asking: How did Facebook referrals grow so much?

The short answer: Facebook mobile

Here’s a chart that shows how much traffic Facebook sent to publishers (as a percentage of overall visits publishers received) in the last 13 months next to how much traffic Facebook mobile — alone — sent.

Shareaholic Facebook Referral Data Oct 2013

What do the numbers mean?

1) Publishers saw traffic from Facebook mobile users grow 253%. Earlier this year, Facebook also published interesting information that revealed three things. One, the number of active Facebook mobile users grew. Two, Facebook users are liking more links on their feed. Three, Facebook users are sharing more stories with their friends.

2) More than half of Facebook’s referral traffic growth came from mobile. If we take a closer look at the numbers, we see Facebook’s overall growth increased by 3.84 percentage points. Facebook mobile alone grew 1.98 percentage points. Who knew all these tiny devices were so powerful?

Shareaholic Facebook Referral Chart Oct 2013

It is clear that Facebook mobile usage is growing and that smartphone adoption is on the rise. Therefore, you should make sure your sites are not just mobile compatible, but mobile optimized in order to provide a comfortable browsing experience for all visitors.

As a member of the “now” society, I am constantly plugged in (I blame my smartphone). I often catch myself reading articles on my mobile as I’m sitting at my desk with a dual-monitor setup. If I’m reading several stories back-to-back, I only ever switch to my PC if it takes more than a vertical scroll to consume all of the information I’m looking for.

The bottom line is: Make sure your site is fully optimized for mobile browsing. Let’s face it. No one really enjoys pinching and zooming, or finger dragging, to read or see anything. Your visitors will thank you for it.

How much traffic has Facebook driven to your site in the last year? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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  • Pingback: Shareaholic Report: Organic Facebook Mobile Referrals Up 253 Percent | Doohickey

  • http://www.eBizROI.com Rick Noel, eBiz ROI, Inc.

    Compelling data Danny. Responsive web design has never been more important. Smartphone penetration is over 50% and accelerating. It will be interesting to see how the recent announcement from Facebook regarding highlighting quality images will play into the referral traffic. For certain sites, I would think that it would help. Thanks for sharing.

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Ah, yes. I second your assumption! Smart sites that include visual elements (especially images in their posts) should benefit from the changes. Facebook’s recent initiatives have focused on increasing engagement, which ends up encouraging more liking, sharing and commenting (and sites, of course, end up getting more referrals).

  • Pingback: Study Reports 20% of Overall Traffic Comes From Facebook and Pinterest | Search Engine Journal

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