3 Social Media Insights Every Publisher Needs To Know

By Mary C. Long 

PublisherRoundtableBlogosphere650How effective are certain channels are when it comes to driving traffic to publisher sites? The answer is a bit complicated. Good thing for you, VigLink recently gathered some excellent data to share on that specific topic. Allow me to break it down by focusing on three social media insights you really need to know.

Last month, VigLink announced the launch of Publisher Roundtable, a collective intelligence platform designed to help online content publishers grow their businesses.

To join the platform, publishers were asked to fill out short surveys asking them about their traffic, where it was coming from, and how well it was performing.

More than 250 publishers completed the questionnaire, offering results from more than 30 million unique monthly visitors spanning verticals ranging from “home and family” to “firearms and hunting” and everything in between.

While the report’s findings illustrated a few important takeaways, such as the vast importance of a quality search-engine-optimization strategy, it also highlighted some obvious trends occurring in social media that publishers should analyze and optimize for — specifically, Facebook. Here are the top three:

  1. Facebook drives traffic: One of the highlighted results of VigLink’s Publisher Roundtable report was that Facebook is “the most popular and effective social media site,” with 99 percent of publishers claiming that they receive traffic from the social network. Even if the traffic from Facebook isn’t the best, and can be expensive with paid advertising, it’s important for publishers to have Facebook pages to share their content, engage with followers, and grow their networks.
  2. Social media is key to retaining an audience: Social media isn’t just great for connecting with your followers and expanding your audience — it’s also key for maintaining your fan base. According to the survey results, 81 percent of publishers with a high percentage of repeat visitors receive traffic from social channels. And we’re not only talking about the big guys (like Facebook or Twitter) — sites like Reddit and Digg are also very valuable. Any social site that reaches your target audiences and encourages them to read, share, and engage with your content is worth its weight in likes.
  3. Social media traffic isn’t always quality traffic: Ah, you knew there was a rub, right? Even though lots of publishers claimed that social media was vital to generating traffic for their sites, they also suggested that social media traffic was less likely to take action or engage with their sites. Of the more than 250 publishers that took the survey, only 41 percent expressed satisfaction with the traffic they received from Facebook, which was twice as high as Twitter. So  social media is likely best used for growing and curating a following, rather than advertising.

Social media can be effective in keeping followers interested in your brand, but these sites aren’t the best tools for driving quality traffic and, more important, for conversions.

Readers: Does this speak to your experience? It rings true, doesn’t it?