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The Twitter+Facebook Traffic Referral Explosion

I wrote a post a few weeks back that looked at how Facebook and Twitter compare as traffic drivers.  What I didn’t mention in my post is that over the course of the last six to twelve months the amount of traffic driven by both sites has grown exponentially. 

Last week at the 140 Conference, venture capitalist Fred Wilson gave a talk in which he shared some observations from the referral logs of his portfolio companies.  He found traffic from Twitter and Facebook has been increasing at a rate of 30-40 percent per month for the last year.  If this trend continues, this means that social media (lead by Twitter and Facebook) will surpass Google as a traffic source for many sites sometime in the next year. 

I have a couple of quick observations about this, based on the site stats I have access to, which are a mix of sites for non-profits, advocacy organizations and companies:

  • Traffic from Twitter and Facebook is increasing by 20-30% per month on the sites I manage that (1) produce content on a consistent basis and (2) are working to promote themselves on these platforms.  These types of sites lend themselves to Twitter and Facebook, and thus are getting lots of traffic.
  • Twitter and Facebook do not drive much traffic at all to sites that don’t produce consistent content and which aren’t actively engaged in the platforms.  Google is far and way the dominate traffic source for this type of site.

This is probably an obvious point, but you really have to earn your social media traffic by producing good content and working to promote it.

A video of Wilson’s talk is embedded below.