Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites increased the number of visitors that they sent to 10 UK charity web sites by 33% in the past 12 months. Compared to the previous 12 months the proportion of visitors coming to the sites from social media sources increased from 2.06% from 2.72%. The quality of the visitors, as measured by Time on Site/Pages Viewed, etc, coming from social media was slightly less than the average site visitor and that has remained broadly unchanged over the last two years. The biggest social media sources were Facebook and Twitter with Facebook increasing its share of the visits from social media to 58% in the period 1st Sept 2010 to 31st Aug 2011.Twitter was second but if we accept that Google Analytics undercounts visits from Twitter referrals by 4 or even 5 times then it sends almost as many as Facebook. This would
increase the overall number of visitors from social media sources to closer to 3%.
In Sept of 2010 I did another analysis of the impact of social media on charity web site visits. This latest analysis uses a slightly wider group of social media sources and charities comparing the period 1st September 2009 to 31st August 2010 with the period 1st September 2010 to 31st August 2011. The data is a simple average across 10 different UK charity sites varying from 10k to 250k visits per month. The data was collected from Google Analytics using an Advanced Segment as described in the previous post. For all the charities the Top 5 social media sources comprised around 80% of all the sources in the Advanced Segment. So the 80/20 rule applies and there is no long tail of social media referrals.
The Social Media Advanced Segment that I used covers many kinds of sources but three distinct groups can be identified. The first might be considered true social media. Here the big two, Facebook and Twitter, are becoming more dominant but for some charities Linkedin brought many visitors. The second group is social bookmarking sites where the two that did well were Stumbleupon and Netvibes. If you are not using them currently they are worth investigating as they have been very successful for one or two charities and as this report shows for national newspapers such as The Guardian and the Daily Mail. The third broad group is Communities and Forums. Examples are in-house Forums plus places such as moneysavingexpert and sector specific forums. As the sites I reviewed used different referral methods the numbers coming from in-house communities and forums may be undercounted. Finally, Google+ sends very few visits directly to the sites that I reviewed and to my surprise YouTube did not feature in any Top 5 list of referring social media sites in the last 2 years.