A study conducted by Outbrain indicates that even the most popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are not very effective at driving traffic to websites. This requires a rethink in the company internet marketing strategy when it comes to social media marketing campaigns. Results of the study clearly indicate that search engines are much more effective at driving traffic to websites than social sites.
This means that all the retweets and Facebook ‘shares’ do not yet account for much, as far as website traffic is concerned. Even a large number of retweets cannot guarantee high traffic as few people seem to be actually clicking the link embedded in the tweeted message. Similarly, in the case of Facebook shares, people seem to be reacting to the subject line rather than the actual content.
Google remains the undisputed leader, when it comes to driving traffic to websites. In the report released by Outbrain, Google, which accounted for 37.68% external traffic to websites in the first quarter, leads the list of traffic driving sources. Yahoo comes in at second place accounting for 14.11% traffic in Q1. MSN, which accounted for 8.50% traffic in Q1, is placed third. In comparison, social sites like Facebook and Twitter lag behind at 1.12% and 1.89% respectively. The leadership of search engines is understandable as people tend to click on results and visit websites while conducting a search.
To ensure the accuracy of the results, Outbrain decided to rerun the numbers. Although the positions of some of the external traffic driving sources changed in the reposted report, search engines maintained their lead. This time, Google, AOL and Yahoo were the top 3 traffic sources, while Facebook came in at the 4th spot.