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Social Media Marketing for Business

Emily Goodrich


November 20, 2014

Who’s Driving Traffic: Social Media Statistics to Close 2014

November 20, 2014 | By | 8 Comments">8 Comments

The landscape of social media is ever changing. With new stats coming out constantly, it can be difficult to stay on top of trends. Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed a move from generalized websites to specialized mobile sites to specialized apps. Smartphones have become ubiquitous. Even this year a lot has changed, especially in terms of how social media drives traffic to outside pages and where interaction with brands happens.


In this article, I’ll go over some of the latest social media statistics from reports across the internet and what they mean for social media marketers as we start looking to 2015. It’s critical to stay on top of changing social media trends to ensure you leverage each network effectively. Below, I’ll break down some important stats about social media in general, and then dive into the specific statistics and recommendations for each site.

Social Media Statistics: Overview

Social media is a marketing and publishing platform that businesses can leverage to increase engagement with their content and drive leads and sales. In order to do that, marketers need to know which sites are driving traffic, and how media is shared over the various networks. In terms of content engagement, knowing where interactions come from is also key.

So, here are some quick stats on social interaction (Data is pulled from Shareaholic and Digital Insider studies, unless otherwise linked):

    • 75% of engagement on Facebook posts occurs in the first 5 hours of posting.
    • 53% of brand-to-fan interaction on Google+ is positive.
    • 84% of women and 50% of men stay active on Pinterest.
    • 78% of Twitter’s active users are on mobile. The number of mobile users for Facebook sits at 399 million.
    • 60% of social media time is spent on smartphones and tablets. (source)
    • Facebook is still the queen of social traffic – it drove 23% of overall visits to sites and it’s share traffic has skyrocketed, up 150% since 2013.
    • Pinterest’s share referrals have grown 59% since 2013
    • LinkedIn has lost 77% of their traffic share since 2013

If you want to dig in a little bit with the traffic data, check out the results from Shareholics traffic study below:

Percentage of internet traffic driven per social network, from March to June 2014; Shareaholic 7/14

What’s It Mean?

Facebook: In what might seem like the most obvious statement of the year, Facebook continues to be the best place for social media referrals. Yes, organic reach has declined and the Facebook Like is declining in importance, but there are other reasons to stay active on the social media giant.

    • There are 456 million Facebook users that rely solely on mobile for Facebook (source)
    • 864 million people use Facebook on a daily basis, an increase from 829 million last quarter (source)
    • 64% of Facebook users visit the site daily
    • 23% login at least five times per day
    • Facebook’s audience includes 71% of all online adults as of September 2013 (source)

Facebook’s algorithm is ever-changing, but one consistent trend is that the News Feed is moving toward valuing engagement over timeliness. This means that you don’t need to worry so much about time decay on articles. However, it also means that you need to post high quality, engaging content in order to be seen. Ask questions, post high quality images, and share relevant content from other sources, and you’ll be well on your way to taking advantage of Facebook’s engagement dominance.

Takeaway: Facebook is showing no signs of slowing down – the amount of traffic it’s driven this year has increased dramatically, and it’s audience continues to grow. Posting engaging and highly visual content, as well as running sweepstakes and lead capture campaigns, is the best way I’ve seen to leverage this social network. Note, however, that if you are just starting out, building up an engaged audience takes time; don’t jump in with a Sweepstakes if you’ve only got 100 fans. Focus on your content and fan engagement first before running a campaign.

Pinterest: Pinterest is growing, and growing fast. According to Danny Wong from Shareaholic, Pinterest is “barely out of training wheels” and is still trying to figure out the balance between promoted pins and organic reach, but it’s still a contender in terms of sharing traffic and engagement.

    • 80% of pinners are Women
    • Pinterest has seen 50% Pin growth since last year
    • 23% of Pinterest users log in at least once in a day
    • Pinterest grew 1.3% in terms of sharing since last quarter

Don’t ignore the power of the Pin – even Shareaholic’s internet reports have Pinterest pin options on every graph available. Pay special attention to that repin metric – Pinterest runs on sharing other users’ content. Create high quality visuals or infographics on your boards, tag your content appropriately, and repin other user’s content to drive engagement for your business.

TakeawayIf you have a strong female fan base, it’s time to hop on the Pinterest train. Not only are you likely to find your current audience there, but you’ll be able to easily market to possible new leads. Just remember, visual content is Queen on Pinterest, so keep their posting format in mind and only pin large, high-quality images and infographics. For more information about businesses and Pinterest, check out our article on How to Make Pinterest Work for You.

Twitter: Twitter holds a steady third in terms of driving traffic, according to Shareaholic’s data. It’s lost traffic at a rate of 18% since 2013.

    • 46% of users tweet at least once per day
    • That said, 44% of users have never sent a Tweet
    • 271 million monthly active users
    • 500 million Tweets are sent per day

Twitter’s loss in traffic shares can be attributed to the feed itself, which, for users, is a wall of text. There may be a picture or link in there somewhere, but users don’t see them in their feeds. This makes it difficult to get click throughs, even if your content is stellar.

What you’re facing with Twitter is competition; you will need to be more aware of the timing of your tweets than with other social networks. My recommendation? Be active. Tweet at fans when they mention your brand and tweet in response to other brands (#BendGate is a great example of leveraging another brand’s mistake to your advantage).

TakeawayTwitter is still an excellent place for branding and reaching out, if you are active! The key is to find a balance between overwhelming your followers with content, and tweeting infrequently enough to get lost in the constant stream of text. Pay attention to #hashtags and current events, get engaged and make sure to respond promptly to tweets. You’ll be a master of the Twitter sphere in no time!

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a bit of an anomaly – some experts believe it will be come one of the most important publishers for brands, while the data says that sharing content on the platform has plummeted since last year. That said, it drives engaged users to content, with the average user seeing 2.32 pages. The platform also has a bounce rate of 51%.

Here are some of the latest figures for the site:

    • 39 million students and recent college graduates use LinkedIn
    • On average, 2 new users join LinkedIn every second
    • 58% of respondents to a survey of LinkedIn users, run by Wayne Breitbarth, spend two or more hours on the site (source)
    • Company page usage rose from 24% in 2013, to 54% in 2014 (source)

LinkedIn is definitely a networking gold mine ready for the savvy B2B company to take advantage of, and a place where you can cultivate a network of new users. Take advantage of groups and your business page and share your professional content – it may not share as well as it used to, but you’ll have a better chance at connecting with engaged users.

TakeawayDon’t abandon LinkedIn – as I mentioned before, a lot of experts think that LinkedIn is an invaluable publishing tool. If you are a B2B business, LinkedIn is an especially crucial publication platform because you can post directly to focused groups and individuals based on interest. So, keep an eye on LinkedIn.

Google+: Another oddball in the social media sphere, Google+ continues to have a small presence, though some predict that it will surpass Facebook in share traffic by 2016. Here are some of the latest stats for Google+:

    • Google+ drives high post-click engagement, with a bounce rate of 50%
    • 42% of adults use Google+ to engage with brands
    • Google+ continues to have a super engaged core of male users, and is big in the tech industries (source).

As Google continues to integrate its social media platform with search, it will be interesting to see how this social media network grows.

Takeaway: If you’re in the tech industry, you need to be on Google+. It’s not the ghost town everyone believes it is, and fans of the social network are very engaged, so if you’re not there, you’re missing out on potential fans. Remember, if you’re just starting out, building a fan base on a new network can take time. Start with some +1 buttons on your best content and really building up your business’ profile before attempting to market through Google+.

Let Me Know What You Think

Is there anything you think I missed? Let me know in the comments below!

Emily Goodrich


Emily Goodrich is a Technical Writer at Heyo. She is a Senior studying Creative and Professional Writing at Virginia Tech.