Which Social Networks Generate the Most Referral Traffic Online?

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Marketers want data on social media referral traffic and the social analytics industry is delivering. Today, social sharing tool provider Shareaholic released data on social referrals from Q4 2013, with a few key findings.

While Pinterest may be on it’s heels, Facebook was among the networks to make the biggest gains when it comes to referrals. Facebook referrals grew 48.85 percent compared to Pinterest’s 30.06 percent in growth. StumbleUpon referral traffic grew the most at 54.36 percent.

Twitter may be one of the fastest growing networks but according to the study, referrals decreased 4.31 percent. The study attributes this decline to Twitter being the favored network of journalists but also acknowledges that Twitter is still No. 3 when it comes to referral traffic from the top social networks. Twitter better watch out though, StumbleUpon is gaining and with the current rate of increased referral traffic, could be on pace to unseat the more popular network.

Bad news for Reddit and YouTube: Referral traffic from both sites saw a big dip. Referrals from Reddit declined nearly 18 percent while YouTube referrals dropped almost 40 percent, according to the study. Indeed, Pinterest refers more traffic than YouTube, Reddit and Twitter combined.

Google+ referral traffic saw a modest increase of nearly 19 percent but is still hanging out in last place with LinkedIn, which saw a decline of nearly 27 percent. According to the study, both sites contribute minuscule amounts of traffic compared to other sites.

Overall, Facebook is still driving the most traffic. Perhaps the recent newsfeed changes could contribute to even bigger growth in Facebook referral traffic.

Featured image credit: HarcoRutgers

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