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Social Media Referrals: Facebook and Pinterest Leave Google+ in the Dust



Oh Google+, every time we think you’re going to pull through, you fall down hard. Shareaholic just released a new Social Media Traffic Report that looks at 13 months of activity from more than 200,000 publishers.

In order to get a closer look at the final numbers, I sliced their full chart in half so you only see from July 2013 on. For the full chart, click here.

shareaholic sept 2013The columns represent the percentage of social media referrals that were sent by each type of social media service during the given month. It culminates with the 13-month average and then the growth from a year ago to now.

Growth wise, StumbleUpon and Reddit are the biggest losers. I suspect its because both of these sites represent old school bookmarking. We used to love keeping long lists of our favorite internet places but that’s a behavior that’s fading fast. Now, links come to us in a more natural way. All I have to do is visit Twitter or Facebook and I have plenty of links to explore. I don’t think I’m explaining it well, but to me there’s a huge difference between the way we interact with StumbleUpon and the way we interact with Pinterest (even though both are places were you “pin” or “bookmark” urls.)

YouTube had a couple of really great months over the summer but overall they’re still getting beat. LinkedIn also showed some amazing growth this year but they’ve got a long way to go before they can compete with the big boys.

Facebook and Twitter were in the top three for growth, but Facebook knocks Twitter flat on the 13-month average.

Pinterest is the little engine that could, rising up from a clever idea to claim the number two referral spot and — trumpets please – the number one slot for overall grown.

Finally, there’s Google+, languishing in the dust with only 6.97% growth and a dismal .06% 13-month average.  Google+’s own usage numbers are always hard to figure because Google logins are connected to so many other sites, including YouTube. But these numbers from Shareaholic make it pretty clear that it should be the last priority for marketers.

Agree or disagree?

  • http://www.ubermarketing.co.uk/ Shell Robshaw-Bryan

    I don’t think this report reveals the full picture. I’m yet to come across a business Google Plus page that has content posted as frequently as on their Facebook wall or Pinterest boards.

    There is a direct corleation between volume and frequency and the amount of traffic a social network drives. The probable reason behind poorer referral figures for Google Plus is the fact that brands don’t invest enough time there and do more on other social networks.

  • http://blog.wishpond.com/ Adella @ Wishpond

    Hi Cynthia. Great article!
    I’m an active Google+ user, but people in my circles or communities are not
    that active as much as my Facebook and Twitter followers are. As Google UK
    promised the rapid increase in the next set of Google+ usage numbers, I believe
    that Google+ is still a great place to connect with industry expertise.

  • http://www.heitzdigital.com/ Charles Heitz

    Although Google+ was last on this list, keep in mind it’s only a 2 year old and is playing with much older siblings. I think Google+ still has a TON of growth potential and we advise every client to jump in now, establish your branding and build a following so that you’re “ahead of the curve” so to speak.

  • http://www.relaystationmedia.com RelayStation Social Media

    Good analysis, but I’ve noticed higher quality content on G+. I still believe they will rise due to some awesome features like hangouts, and deep integration into the google web.