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Welcome to the 1st Quarter 2014 edition of the Shareaholic Social Media Traffic Report. In our last study, Facebook, Pinterest and StumbleUpon saw the biggest gains in their respective “share of visits,” a percentage of overall traffic — direct traffic, social referrals, organic search, paid search, etc. — sites received.

Our findings for this new study are based on four months of data collected from 300,000+ websites which reach more than 400 million unique visitors each month.

This report takes a look at how much traffic the 8 most popular social media platforms referred to our network of sites. The Shareaholic network is well diversified, with sites ranging from independent lifestyle blogs to publishing companies to commerce sites. The chart below features data for the months of December 2013 through March 2014. The numbers in the month columns are shown as “share of visits” while the last two columns on the right quantify how much each social network’s respective share has grown or shrunk.

Following the data are 4 important takeaways from this study:

social media report Apr '14 stats

1) Facebook is the supreme king of social referrals

  • Facebook users love to — or can’t help but — click links on their feed. Last month, Facebook drove 21.25% of the overall traffic sites received. Since December, FB’s share of traffic grew 38% (5.81 percentage points).
  • While brands enjoy hating on Facebook for limiting the reach of Pages and then forcing businesses to pay for ads, Facebook still continues to refer loads of traffic to websites when users share links they enjoy with all of their friends. Though, last month, Eat24 caused a ruckus because it initiated a ‘breakup’ with Facebook, brands will never be bold enough to actually prevent users from ‘liking’ or ‘sharing’ things from their sites to Facebook. Eat24’s popular breakup letter received more than 26k Facebook likes and shares. While most brands may have lost faith in their Fan Pages, they know the world’s largest social network will still bless them with tons of organic traffic.

2) Pinterest is the reigning queen of social referrals

  • Pinterest further solidified its 2nd place standing; its share of traffic grew a whopping 48% (2.31 percentage points) since December. Last month, it claimed a 7.10% share of overall traffic, which is orders of magnitude greater than the shares for each of the 6 remaining social networks.
  • For sites overall, Pinners are not the most engaged bunch. For brands though, Piqora states a pin is worth $0.78 in sales.  Naturally, results will vary from site to site.

3) Twitter hangs onto third while StumbleUpon closes in

  • In the 1st quarter, Twitter’s share of overall traffic held steady around 1%. Last month, Twitter managed a 1.14% share of overall traffic, gaining 1.59% (0.02 percentage points) since December.
  • StumbleUpon made surprising progress, driving 0.99% of overall visits to sites last month. SU’s share of traffic grew 14.91% (0.13 percentage points) over Q1.

4) Reddit, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn (mostly) fail to impress

  • Reddit’s 0.21% share didn’t even budge.
  • YouTube was the biggest loser with a meager 0.09% share of overall traffic last month. Its share shrunk by more than half (52%) since December, shedding 0.10 percentage points.
  • For the first time since July 2013, Google+ overtook LinkedIn for 7th place. Over Q1, Google+ grew its share of traffic by 53% (0.03 percentage points) to 0.08% overall. LinkedIn only drove 0.04% of overall traffic to sites; its share shrunk 21% (0.01 percentage points) over Q1.
  • As our Social Referrals That Matter Report noted, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn do drive the most engaged visitors (even though they drive the fewest).

social media traffic report Apr '14 graph

What interesting traffic trends have you noticed over Q1? Also, if you enjoy reading our data reports and don’t want to miss out on the next one, click the image below and subscribe to our blog!

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