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The people at analytics platform Chartbeat have published a revealing study on social traffic to news sites.
I suggest you read the full post, but I am going to pull out a few key stats and points:
- Overall, about 26 per cent of traffic we measure comes from social sources – Facebook, Twitter, and email, for example – making social the second most significant source of traffic.
- Social sources are a better than average source of new visitors: while an average of 31 per cent of a site’s traffic comes from new visitors, an average of 41 per cent of social visitors are new.
- Social traffic is also dramatically more mobile-based than all other traffic — an average of 25 per cent of traffic is on mobile, but on many sites over 40 per cent of social traffic is mobile.
There is a section of the post which addresses when to post to social (based on EST times). It is worth seeing the figures displayed in a graph in the post.
- Social traffic substantially underperforms overall traffic from about 5am to noon, and social substantially overperforms overall traffic from about 3pm until 1am.
Twitter timing is also separated out:
- Posting to Twitter is strong all morning and reaches its peak just before noon, even though traffic from social is actually its strongest later in the day.
The study also looks at return visitors:
- About 82 per cent of visitors who come from social only come once, but there’s a long tail of people who come two or more times.
And as the post states, it is worth investing time in social:
Social is also categorically different than other sources of traffic because it’s the only channel that’s easily influenced — while converting visitors to come directly to your homepage is an art and affecting search engine placement leaves much to chance, we can actively choose which articles we put on social media and when to provide those links.
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