If you have looked at Google Analytics and been disheartened by the volume of traffic your website gets from social media, don’t despair. You are not alone.
I too have been disappointed by the volume of traffic, especially when I consider the amount of time I devote to this channel. And as organic reach is being squeezed by the paid promotion of posts, social media results are no longer free.
Talking to some marketers I was left with the feeling that maybe I was doing something wrong. Until I asked, “How much traffic do you get from social?” They couldn’t answer.
That got me thinking. Maybe everyone was judging the success of social by the number of Likes, Shares or Comments, and not by its ability to drive website traffic.
There is a separate question about the value of a ‘Like’ and I explore that in a post titled ‘Stop counting Likes, it’s a waste of time‘.
Lots of research suggests the volume of social media traffic is high. But that’s not been my experience, and I question the impartiality of that research – so I decided to do my own.
Shocking stats on social media traffic
OK, maybe not shocking, but perhaps surprising.
The result of my research is above and comes from a Twitter Poll that targeted UK marketing executives (over 120 responded).
Note how 56% say that social accounts for less than 8% of traffic to their site. That is certainly my experience.
The 29% who claim to get more than 14% of traffic from social is perhaps exceptional (or exaggeration?)
Independent research by Growth Badger seems to support my survey. They studied over 3 billion (yes, billion!) website visits and found on average social media accounts for just 6% of traffic.
The full breakdown of Growth Badger’s research is above.
Obviously, these figures are an average and there will be differences based on sector. For example, Fashion & Beauty sites can expect an average of 11.58% of traffic from social, yet Health & Medical will only get 1.08%.
(Note how search engines deliver the lion’s share of traffic – see my post ‘How to get a higher ranking on Google‘ for some tips).
But the low average is also confirmed by research from data & digital marketing agency Merkle. In 2019, their Digital Marketing Report showed the average for social media was 4% of all traffic.
Why drive traffic to your website?
Your website gives you space to fully explain the benefits of your proposition without interference from competitors or other advertisers.
Think about when your audience logs into LinkedIn or Twitter. They are immediately confronted with posts from various people and organisations (including your company), all trying to grab their attention.
If they remain on those social media platforms, then a distraction or alternative is just a click away. That’s why you need to drive them to your website asap.
On your website, you can take your visitors on a path (without distractions) that leads them to take action – complete a form, call a number, download an app, order online, etc.
I’m not suggesting social media is a waste of time. Social has a part to play in any multi-channel marketing programme – but it is a marketing channel, not the marketing channel.
So the reason you’re not getting large volumes social media traffic is… nobody is getting large volumes.
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