Facebook accounts for 1 in every 6 page views in the UK. It is the most popular social network in the UK, with 55% of all visits to such sites, and contributes to social networks now accounting for 11.5% of all internet visits in the UK. This data from from a recent report from Hitwise looking at use of social media and social networking sites. It shows the growing importance of social media not just as a place to engage your audience, but also as a traffic driver.
With 11.5% of all internet visits, social media sites now account for more activity online than the combined visits to Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Social media continues to increase its lead over search engines and as it does so its roles as a source of traffic is taking ever-increasing prominence. Whilst Google remains, the largest driver of traffic to UK sites, now 1 in 10 visits originates from Facebook – making the social network the second biggest driver of traffic as well as the most visited social network. It lead the pack by considerable distance – with YouTube in a distant second place.
And this figure is growing. Taking just online retail sites as an example, the Hitwise report shows that traffic from social media sites has risen by 13% in the year to September 2010 with 9.1% of visits to all online retailers now coming from social media. This supports our own experience with Jimmy Choo, where we are seeing traffic from Facebook to the ecommerce site increasing at an astonishing rate month-on-month.
So social networks are not only taking an increasingly important part of our online experience, but also a real driver of traffic. Brands should acknowledge this and build a social media strategy that acknowledges social media as a place to engage and also to drive traffic to their ecommerce or other sites. Understanding where social media plays in the ecosystem of your brand online, how your outreach on social networks, blogs and other such sites sits alongside your main site, is critical. Build a real and clear understanding of who you are engaging, where. And make sure you are capitalising on this growing and increasingly important pattern of social media sites driving real traffic. Including a true social search strategy to compete with and compliment your existing SEO strategies.
Download the Hitwise report: Getting to grips with Social Media