Good News For Your Facebook Traffic

    July 25, 2014
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Changes to the Facebook News Feed made over recent months may have angered some brands and publishers. Such changes may have even pushed some to abandon their Facebook strategies in favor of competing social platforms like Twitter or Google+, but if you’re looking for traffic, that’s probably not an entirely wise move to make.

Has your Facebook traffic been increasing compared to that from other social platforms? Let us know in the comments.

Much has been made of the decline of organic reach of Facebook Page posts, but the social network only continues to drive more and more traffic to websites. In fact, according to a new report, it’s the only one of the top eight social networks to actually drive more traffic from March to June than it did in the months prior.

In April, we looked at Shareholic’s Q1 Social Media Traffic Report. It found that Facebook referrals were skyrocketing, increasing nearly 38% between December and April. Pinterest came in second place (a distant second at that), but was growing even faster at over 48%.

Now the Q2 report is out, and Facebook and Pinterest remain in the number one and two spots respectively, but the numbers look considerably different. Facebook increased by 10.09% while Pinterest decreased over 19%.

Wow, what happened, Pinterest? And this comes as we were just talking about how much Buzzfeed has been growing its Pinterest traffic.

Year-over-year, Pinterest is still looking pretty good. It’s up nearly 70% for referrals. Facebook is up over 150%. The only other network to show an increase year-over-year, is StumbleUpon at 13.33%. Quarter-over-quarter, it was down over 39% by Shareaholic’s numbers.

Facebook drove 23.39% of overall visits to sites.

All in all, social media appears to making up a greater percentage of the referral pie. According to the report, the eight largest sources of social referrals drove 31.07% of overall traffic to sites received last month. That’s compared to 15.55% during the same time last year.

Reddit, YouTube, and LinkedIn each saw dramatic decreases in referrals year-over-year. Reddit dropped over 65% over that time, while YouTube fell over 82% and LinknedIn over 77%.

“Easily the largest social network, Facebook commands the most clout among marketers and publishers hungry for referrals,” writes Shareaholic’s Danny Wong. “Well-positioned for world domination, Facebook now drives nearly a quarter (23.39%) of overall traffic to sites and has no plans of stopping anytime soon. Over the last year, its “share of traffic” has skyrocketed, up 150.49% (14.05 percentage points) from 9.34% in June 2013.”

“Users are always plugged into their feed and without realizing, tend to be highly invested in frequent check-ins and lightweight touch points with their connections. Simply put, Facebook is winning the referrals war because users can’t seem to get enough of content shared by close friends and relatable acquaintances,” he adds. “Facebook’s rich, and somewhat unpredictable feed promises anything but monotony. Multi-form media (short posts, long rants, link previews, unformatted links without previews, etc.) offers inconsistency which makes it impossible to scroll far without at least a handful of posts catching your eye.”

You may not get very far in the New Feed with the things you post on your own Facebook Page (at least without paying for it), but it would seem that you should still be doing everything you can to encourage users to share your content on the social network from your website and any other means possible. People are clicking the links in their News Feeds.

It just so happens that Facebook launched a new feature this past week, which should result in even more referrals for sites. The new Save feature lets users save links (as well as places, movies, TV shows, and music) they come across in their News Feed to look at later.

Let’s face it. We all see plenty of interesting looking stories come through our News Feed every day, but we don’t always have time to stop and read them when we see them. As I said in a previous post, this is a long-overdue feature, and one that makes Facebook instantly better as a news reader (which seems to be one of Facebook’s ultimate goals anyway).

Introducing Save on Facebook from Facebook on Vimeo.

Users who are already using RSS readers like Feedly are going to love the feature, even if it’s lacking in some seemingly obvious features. You can’t, for example, save regular status updates, photos or videos. At least not yet. Video actually seems like something people would want to save more than anything, as it takes time to watch a video. With Facebook recently getting into video advertising, this would seem especially critical to the feature. Perhaps it will come later.

The feature does support sponsored posts, so that’s good news for Facebook advertisers. If you’re promoting a compelling enough link, you might get the click later, even if the user doesn’t click when they first encounter the ad. In fact, this is all the more reason to promote truly interesting content.

The lesson here is that Facebook is already driving more traffic to sites, while all the other platforms are driving less than they were before (at least according to this particular study), and that was before you could save links.

Do you expect your Facebook traffic to increase? Do you think the Save feature is a big deal for content creators? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Images via Shareaholic

  • erikkraemer

    The Save feature, if they broaden it, would be a BIG help for me. I continually have to retain e-mail notifications of particular posts so that I might find them again later. Ever try to find a reference to an old post? It sucks. So the saving feature would be a big hit, I think.

    • http://www.designbusinessengineering.com Lindy Asimus

      A dedicated folder in bookmarks works well for this

      • erikkraemer

        Valid point, Lindy. Thanks. I have done that if they reference specific pages or data and the links are even cloud based, but I’m still thinking it would be an interesting feature. I could, for example, pull up something while within FB on a mobile device, or if I wished to further interact with the poster on follow-up info on the matter.

        • http://www.designbusinessengineering.com Lindy Asimus

          Yes. It’s unfortunate that FB doesn’t deign to provide search function on Pages too.

  • http://www.bloketoys.co.uk/ BlokeToys.co.uk

    This is a little disingenuous. Facebook is good for gaining traffic because so many people are addicted to it, they share content from sites. This has nothing to do with the complete failure of Facebook to support small businesses and their unethical and suspicious tactics of making money from you.

    This doesn’t change the fact that trying to create a following on FB for your brand is pointless. People who have chosen to follow still can’t see most of your content unless you’re willing to pay through the nose to have it “promoted”, and people who follow thanks to paid ads are still mostly fictional, or paid clickers from Mumbai.

    The best solution is to add all those little buttons on every page you have and let the FB users have at it, maybe they will share your content with their friends, and maybe it will get you some traffic.

    This is an entirely different thing to actually trying to operate a brand page. Doing so takes up valuable time that could be spent on social networks that actually do allow you contact with your GENUINE fans and followers.

    • http://aalbc.com/ Troy Johnson

      Deep. I thought I was the only one who noticed this @bloketoyscouk:disqus . I have 4 times the number of “fans” from two years ago and a fraction of the referral traffic to my website. In July 2012 referral traffic was 25% 2nd only to Google organic search. In July 2014 it is 6%

    • http://www.givemedeals.com Shabu Anower

      Agree with you, FB is not anymore for small business owners. Simply we can’t pay to promote each post.

  • http://aalbc.com/ Troy Johnson

    In July 2012 my referral traffic from Facebook was 25%, 2nd only to Google organic search. In July 2014 it is 6% and that is with at least 4 times the number of fans. Also more effort is required to garner those referrals. Buying ads does improve referral traffic but two years ago I had no reason to buy ads. Besides the CTR of Facebook ads is dismal compared to the CTR on my own website. I’ve decided to stop contributing content to Facebook; the tradeoff in referral traffic is no longer an equitable exchange.

    True Facebook has always had a high referral rate that the others. As your chart indicates, and it is true for my site, the relative number of referrals, from the other social platforms were, and still are, insignificant in comparison to Facebook.

  • FrankLuska

    I still find it strange that some people don’t understand what facebook did. It’s as old as time it’s self. Loss leaders are common to those who are savvy advertisers. It would appear those complaining need a business 101 course. Or even worse, a lesson on why things in life are not free.

    Facebook was never about giving free traffic to you, it was about getting you hooked, and in turn, eventually making a profit from you.

  • dreamedia

    Facebook is a great way to get traffic because it has got really addicted users.. The new features in facebook will really enhance SMO.

    learn seo

  • Jim

    I paid to have a post promoted on facebook. They never told me it would be recurring billing. I thought it was a one time deal, but then my paypal account was charged again after my initial $$ ceiling was met. It was charged in bits and pieces. So I put a ceiling of $44, and after that was all done, then I noticed a $2 then a $4 charge a few days later. I went back into my fan page and looked at the ad, and tried for about 20 minutes to find a cancel link so I could stop the payments, but nothing. It was a pain. I assumed I missed the notification that they would keep billing me, but after having an ordeal trying to cancel the payment I wasn’t so sure I missed anything. Anyway, to stop the ad, I had to go into my paypal account and cancel the subscription, which is turned out to be. I got no new customers from this paid post. I am hesitant in trying facebook again for all the reasons above.