Salon Social Media Referrals Up 720% Year-over-Year

Salon’s 2010 second quarter traffic increased 20% over the same period last year, and its revenue grew 40%, the online magazine is reporting. More interestingly, though, its social media referrals have ballooned 720%.
Salon CEO Richard Gingras chalks up a significant portion of that traffic to Facebook, more than any other social network, including Twitter. Twitter referrals were up 500% for the second quarter year-over-year. But Facebook referrals were up 740%. And the Facebook base was significantly larger than the Twitter one, Gingras said.
Gingras told WebNewser the site saw a significant jump in Facebook traffic after adopting the network’s “Like” button in early May. The social network launched the button at its f8 conference back in April. Publishers can embed the button on their sites, positioning it, for example, next to individual articles (see image, above). When a user clicks the button, Facebook posts the article’s link directly to the user’s Facebook status updates, thereby letting the user’s friends know this is something worth checking out. In April, before Salon added the button, Facebook referrals were up 270% over the same month last year. In May, after they added the button, year-over-year Facebook referrals jumped 1100%. In June, they were up 875% year-over-year.
Gingras said the magazine is now in the process of implementing Facebook Connect. “The key learning is that social media is a huge potential source of traffic and audience expansion,” he said. “It tells us to continue to evolve to make it even more effective.”