Danny Wong

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The fact is, many of us spend an egregious amount of time using social media (sharing tweets, commenting on FB posts, etc.). We lose ourselves in our ever updating feeds. The more curious among us even try to quantify the hours and minutes spent on social networking each day. But I’ve often wondered: What is our behavior post-click, when we actually interact with a link one of our friends shared socially?

To answer that question, we looked at the average visit duration, pages per visit, and bounce rate for visitors referred to our network of sites from each of the top 8 social media platforms.

Welcome to the first edition of Shareaholic’s “Social Referrals That Matter” Report.

In this study, we looked at 6 months of data (Sept’13 – Feb’14) across our network of 200,000+ sites reaching more than 250 million unique monthly visitors to get a sense of which social network drives the most engaged visitors.

Social Referrals That Matter March 2014

The above findings are represented as average values over the last 6 months for their respective categories: Time on Site, Pages / Visit and Bounce Rate.

Here are six noteworthy findings:

  1. YouTube is the undisputed champion. YT drives the most engaged traffic. These referrals have the lowest average bounce rate (43.19%), the highest pages per visit (2.99) and the longest visit duration (227.82 seconds). Why are visitors from YouTube so engaged? …because video itself is so engaging and viewers are likely to maintain a similar level of engagement with related content. Therefore, video watchers are especially receptive to links within video descriptions which complement the audio+visual content they just consumed. Another reason YouTube takes home the crown is because viewers are simply used to spending minutes — perhaps, hours — educating and entertaining themselves with awesome video and may have fewer qualms about taking extra time to discover more great content post-click.
  2. Although Google+ and LinkedIn drive the fewest social referrals, they bring in some of the best visitors. Google+ users, on average, find themselves spending north of 3 minutes diving into things shared by connections in their circles. They also visit 2.45 pages during each visit, and bounce only 50.63% of the time. LinkedIn users generally spend 2 minutes and 13 seconds on each link they click, viewing 2.23 pages with each visit and bouncing 51.28% of the time. Although many sites see minimal traffic from both Google+ and LinkedIn, now may be the time to invest in building communities within those networks if engagement really matters to your business.
  3. A referral from Twitter is as good as a referral from Facebook — at least, in terms of bounce rate, pages per visit and time on site. Tied in 4th place are Twitter and Facebook. Both types of visitors bounce the same (56.35% of the time), while Twitter wins the pages per visit category (2.15 vs 2.03) and Facebook users tend to spend more time on a site post-click than Twitter users do (127.44 seconds vs. 123.10).
  4. Pinterest isn’t exactly the social media golden child we all play it up to be. Coming in 6th, Pinners bounce as often as FB users and Tweeps do, but view fewer pages per visit (1.71) and spend considerably less time on site (64.67 seconds) than almost all of its counterparts, with the exception of StumbleUpon.
  5. Reddit users are the most fickle. Redditors are the most likely to abandon sites — on average, 70.16% bounce. For marketers, Reddit is a tough nut to crack. Its uber-loyal users are increasingly selective about the content that gets upvoted and are eager to downvote things they disagree with. Effectively, Reddit hates marketing. In the past, I’ve even encouraged site owners to quit Reddit. Naturally, I applaud (and envy) brands and businesses that do it right. An excellent example that comes to mind is Newegg’s involvement on /r/buildapc (h/t AGeezus).
  6. StumbleUpon drives the least engaged referrals. Post-click, users view a meager 1.5 pages per visit and spend 54.09 seconds on site. It would appear that StumbleUpon’s click-heavy — to “stumble,” “like” or “dislike” — focus makes users trigger happy to a fault. Users stumble onto the next thing rather than immerse themselves in the webpage SU recommends. Of course, not every recommendation SU serves will be spot on. Yet, in the instance that a user stumbles upon something that directly resonates with her/him, (s)he may even earn the title of “most engaged visitor of the day”.

For the full data set, here are three charts that show average visit duration (chart #1), pages per visit (chart #2), and bounce rate (chart #3) for each of the 8 social networks over the past 6 months.

How engaged are your visitors from your favorite social networks?

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141 Responses to “YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn Drive The Most Engaged Social Referrals”

  1. Is there a difference between the early traffic from Facebook/Twitter and later traffic?

    My hypothesis: early traffic is more engaged. Youtube, Google+, LinkedIn traffic are better for the early people, and don’t make it to wider, less engaged traffic.

  2. Mathieu says:

    Hi Danny, thanks for this interesting analysis. 3 questions :
    > Can you give us traffic distribution per network so we can put numbers of visitors in front of KPIs
    > If one visitor comes to your website then share an article, do you consider this as an engagement criteria ? ( vs time spend, bouncerate etc….)
    > Do you have vertical data that could be more actionnable for marketers (Numbers might change BtoB, ecommerce, blog, etc….)
    thanks !
    mathieu

  3. It’s not suprising that Google+ brings in some of the best visitors. I get a lot more engagement on Google+ than on any other platforms.

    It’s fascinating that users’ average time on site on Pinterest has dropped over the last 2 years.

    Great findings, Danny! Keep it up!

  4. Elijah Hoo says:

    The thing with this is, what difference does it make? It’s nice to know and all but in terms of marketing and ROI, this is nothing we can take to a client. It’s foolish to say that You Tube has high engagement because that doesn’t mean that the client’s video will lead to engagement of any kind. It’s become a trend in social media management to say that “video is king” in Google but that’s a very simplistic way of luring clients in to thinking that they will get their ROI if they make videos. I understand that you’re talking only about engagement here but it would be interesting to see how much of the engagement you’re talking about actually generates income, ROI, leads or profit and how much of that engagement is simply people bouncing from one video to the next to the next to the next because they have nothing better to do. Social media marketing is an industry and ROI is all that clients care about. How do these figures translate for them? Or do they not translate at all because they’re just “interesting points” but not RELEVENT points for them, their products and services?

    • Danny Wong says:

      Great points. As per your question, our analytics aren’t set up to track conversions and sales, though that’d certainly be valuable information to have.

  5. Had you controlled for mobile traffic? The YouTube app, for example, will often show as direct traffic – which is often a bit more ‘clicky’ and engaged than their desktop counterparts. Your other channels, such as Facebook, would include both mobile and desktop.

  6. chrissie says:

    Sorry what does bounce rate mean?

  7. […] Google+, and LinkedIn drive the most-engaged social referrals to websites, according to a recent report from […]

  8. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most traffic out of all social media sites, or so the numbers say… usually with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. […]

  9. […] 調べた2億5千万UU/月のデータがありました。  ※引用元:『YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn Drive The Most Engaged Social Referrals』 この調査は各SNSからのサイトへの誘導と […]

  10. […] (引用元:YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn Drive The Most Engaged Social Referrals) […]

  11. […] Google+ drives more quality engaged visitors than Twitter or LinkedIn. […]

  12. […] goleada a Facebook y Twitter en términos de engagement. Según un reciente estudio de Shareaholic, los usuarios de YouTube muestran un alto nivel de engagement y son especialmente receptivos […]

  13. […] időt illetve melyiket érzik a leghasznosabbnak. A Shareaholic egyik ide vonatkozó kutatása a “Social Referrals That Matter”, az alábbi eredményekre […]

  14. […] found, in their first “Social Referrals That Matter” report, is that website traffic from YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn, social media platforms […]

  15. […] to generate social media referral traffic to your website and to find new customers. According to Shareaholic, YouTube drives the most engaged referrals to […]

  16. […] has a new report out called “Social Referrals That Matter,” which looks at the average visit duration, […]

  17. […] advice, mention influencers in your tweets if quoting them, and get on YouTube as it drives the most engaged traffic of all social […]

  18. […] to Shareaholic, YouTube drives the most engaged social referrals because of how engaging video itself is.Here are some facts about video that you probably […]

  19. […] to a study by Shareaholic, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn “drive the most engaged social referrals.” In fact, […]

  20. […] to a study by Shareaholic, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn “drive the most engaged social referrals.” In fact, […]

  21. […] to a study by Shareaholic, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn “drive the most engaged social referrals.” In fact, […]

  22. […] the Social Referrals that Matter Report, Shareaholic reveals how the top eight social media platforms perform in terms of driving engaged […]

  23. […] YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn Drive The Most Engaged Referrals […]

  24. […] YouTube has the highest engagement and lowest bounce of any social network (source: Shareaholic) […]

  25. […] at a four-month period of data (December through March), covering more than 300,000 websites. In their study of engaged traffic, the lowest-performing sites for referral volume came out on top for […]

  26. […] delivers the most engaged social visitors, it drives the fewest. Since 2011, YouTube experienced a sharp drop (94.76 percent, 0.23 percentage […]

  27. […] delivers the most engaged personal site visitors, it pushes the fewest. Since 2011, YouTube practiced a-sharp drop (94.76 per cent, 0.23 percentage […]

  28. […] at a four-month period of data (December through March), covering more than 300,000 websites. In their study of engaged traffic, the lowest-performing sites for referral volume came out on top for […]

  29. […] 19. Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of2.99 pages per visit. […]

  30. […] YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn Drive The Most Engaged Social Referrals […]

  31. […] kwartale 2014 roku. Nawet pomimo faktu, że należący do google serwis cały czas jest źródłem ruchu o wysokiej jakości, tak znaczący spadek nie może być w żadnym wypadku […]

  32. […] to a study done by Shareaholic last year, among the list of popular social networks, YouTube ranks at the top for the most visited […]

  33. […] media analysis site called Shareaholic compiles a “Social Referrals That Matter” Report that measures user engagement across 200,000 sites. They […]

  34. […] the most active users. When a YouTube visitor links to a site from the platform, they tend to view about 3 pages per visit. This is a great indicator that YouTube can send you targeted viewers. If you’re not creating […]

  35. […] the most active users. When a YouTube visitor links to a site from the platform, they tend to view about 3 pages per visit. This is a great indicator that YouTube can send you targeted viewers. If you’re not creating […]

  36. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. […]

  37. […] recent study conducted by all-in-one content amplification platform Shareaholic found YouTube to be the best platform for engaging users, demonstrating video’s engagement […]

  38. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. […]

  39. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. […]

  40. […] isn’t the only research study that shows a decreased value of visitors from social networks. Shareaholic found that their bounce rates were higher for visitors from social networks than for those who came […]

  41. […] forget that this is quality traffic. While some types of social traffic have a reputation for being hard to convert, overall, social […]

  42. […] forget that this is quality traffic. While some types of social traffic have a reputation for being hard to convert, overall, social […]

  43. […] forget that this is quality traffic. While some types of social traffic have a reputation for being hard to convert, overall, social […]

  44. […] forget that this is quality traffic. While some types of social traffic have a reputation for being hard to convert, overall, social […]

  45. […] forget that this is quality traffic. While some types of social traffic have a reputation for being hard to convert, overall, social […]

  46. […] forget that this is quality traffic. While some types of social traffic have a reputation for being hard to convert, overall, social […]

  47. […] forget that this is quality traffic. While some types of social traffic have a reputation for being hard to convert, overall, social […]

  48. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. […]

  49. […] on your site has been reported to be the biggest harbinger of traffic of all the social media—on average, a YouTube video will lead the average viewer to visit 2.99 pages on your […]

  50. […] forget that this is quality traffic. While some types of social traffic have a reputation for being hard to convert, overall, social […]

  51. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. […]

  52. […] to MediaBistro, Shareaholic looked at six months of data from more than 200,000 websites, between September 2013 to February […]

  53. […] I would start with optimizing my Youtube profile for Search Engine to developing creative content for the viewers, strategies would likely involve video blogging, guest video blogging (collab videos), running contests and giveaways. Of course, in promoting my brand, I’ve to reach out to my existing social connections and followers to encourage sharing. On top of that, I’d also run Youtube engagement ads for my videos, since Youtube drives the most engaged traffic amongst social networks! […]

  54. […] ejemplo según un estudio realizado por Shareaholic dice que YouTube, Google+ y LinkedIn son las redes sociales que proporcionan las visitas de mayor […]

  55. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. […]

  56. […] of engagement, here are some interesting stats. Shareaholic analyzed over 250 million unique visits coming from social media sites, and it concluded that […]

  57. […] forget that this is quality traffic. While some types of social traffic have a reputation for being hard to convert, overall, social […]

  58. […] an excellent social network to generate social media traffic and get more customers. According to Shareaholic, YouTube drives the most-engaged referrals to websites. If you’re using YouTube in your marketing […]

  59. […] análisis hecho por Shareaholic esta basado en el comportamiento post-click, que se refiere al click hecho en un link compartido […]

  60. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. […]

  61. […] 海外の調査結果ですが 最も自社サイトに誘導されたソーシャルネットワークは?という記事が出ています。 […]

  62. […] 米Shareholic.comが2014年3月、主要なSNSからのリファラーの効果(訪問先サイトでの行動)を、「平均滞在時間」「平均訪問PV数」「平均直帰率」の3つの観点から分析した調査レポート「Social Referrals That Matter」を発表しました。 […]

  63. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of2.99 pages per visit. […]

  64. […] that helps you convert viewers with an effective call to action at the end of your video. The Shareaholic blog states that YouTube can generate the most-engaged customers to websites. Try to use a call to […]

  65. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of2.99 pages per visit. […]

  66. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. […]

  67. […] drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. Building your business own channel is also showing your profession in work. One of the most […]

  68. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. […]

  69. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  70. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  71. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  72. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  73. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  74. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  75. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  76. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  77. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  78. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  79. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  80. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  81. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  82. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  83. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  84. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  85. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  86. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  87. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  88. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  89. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  90. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  91. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  92. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  93. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  94. […] Typically, this means that you’ll stick to the biggest networks: […]

  95. […] to recent researches YouTube drives the most engaged traffic and it has the lowest bounce […]

  96. […] a network of 200,000 + sites from each of the top 8 social media platforms. The results from this study are presented […]

  97. I love StumbleUpon. Is the best.

  98. […] forget that this is quality traffic. While some types of social traffic have a reputation for being hard to convert, overall, social […]

  99. […] 35. Are you limiting your reach to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest? Don’t forget about YouTube: compared to other social media platforms, YouTube has the highest pages per visit, longest visit duration and lowest average bounce rate. (Shareaholic) […]

  100. […] see this :- https://blog.shareaholic.com/social-media-traffic-engagement-03-2014 […]

  101. […] higher-quality visitors. Researchers discovered that visitors spent over three minutes at a time “diving” into the subjects that interested them. This is because LinkedIn and especially Google+ have […]

  102. […] higher-quality visitors. Researchers discovered that visitors spent over three minutes at a time “diving” into the subjects that interested them. This is because LinkedIn and especially Google+ have […]

  103. […] higher-quality visitors. Researchers discovered that visitors spent over three minutes at a time “diving” into the subjects that interested them. This is because LinkedIn and especially Google+ have […]

  104. […] higher-quality visitors. Researchers discovered that visitors spent over three minutes at a time “diving” into the subjects that interested them. This is because LinkedIn and especially Google+ have […]

  105. […] higher-quality visitors. Researchers discovered that visitors spent over three minutes at a time “diving” into the subjects that interested them. This is because LinkedIn and especially Google+ have […]

  106. […] higher-quality visitors. Researchers discovered that visitors spent over three minutes at a time “diving” into the subjects that interested them. This is because LinkedIn and especially Google+ have […]

  107. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. […]

  108. […] un’analisi di Shareaholic, famosissima applicazione per la condivisione dei contenuti, il traffico portato ai siti internet […]

  109. […] social media platforms, YouTube is the king of driving the most engaged traffic, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit, and it even keeps visitors on websites […]

  110. […] social media platforms, YouTube is the king of driving the most engaged traffic, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit, and it even keeps visitors on websites […]

  111. […] social media platforms, YouTube is the king of driving the most engaged traffic, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit, and it even keeps visitors on websites […]

  112. […] social media platforms, YouTube is the king of driving the most engaged traffic, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit, and it even keeps visitors on websites […]

  113. […] social media platforms, YouTube is the king of driving the most engaged traffic, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit, and it even keeps visitors on websites […]

  114. […] social media platforms, YouTube is the king of driving the most engaged traffic, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit, and it even keeps visitors on websites […]

  115. diagoldpro says:

    […] social media platforms, YouTube is the king of driving the most engaged traffic, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit, and it even keeps visitors on websites […]

  116. […] social media platforms, YouTube is the king of driving the most engaged traffic, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit, and it even keeps visitors on websites […]

  117. […] social media platforms, YouTube is the king of driving the most engaged traffic, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit, and it even keeps visitors on websites […]

  118. […] social media platforms, YouTube is the king of driving the most engaged traffic, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit, and it even keeps visitors on websites […]

  119. […] Of course, in promoting my brand, I’ve to reach out to my existing social connections and followers to encourage sharing. On top of that, I’d also run Youtube engagement ads for my videos, since Youtube drives the most engaged traffic amongst social networks! […]

  120. […] further sweeten the pot, according to information that was culled by Sharaholic, YouTube has the healthiest referral traffic of all the social media giants. The report found that […]

  121. […] YouTube has longer page visits and lower bounce rates than any other social platform (Shareaholic). […]

  122. […] you know YouTube drives more engaged traffic than any other social network? According to a Shareaholic report examining engaged social referrals, YouTube referrals have the lowest bounce rate, highest pages […]

  123. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. […]

  124. […] Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit. […]

  125. […] your business should be on YouTube: According to Shareaholic, YouTube drives the most engaged traffic of all the social networks, period. If your company can afford to invest in the creation of […]

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