No one disputes the power of social media or that it should be included in some way in your marketing strategy. But one of the biggest challenges for small businesses (and big businesses, for that matter) is determining the ROI of social media. Every business, industry and niche is different. And that means that the same efforts on social media might yield different results for different companies. You have to know where your audience is, what type of content they do and do not like and what type of posts will even reach your audience. For most small businesses, there are limited time and resources to dedicate to social media and they want to concentrate on the things that will bring them the most engagement (no easy task).

Shareaholic decided to dive in to what happens after people click on something in their newsfeeds. They recently released a survey of social media engagement behavior over a 6 month period (September 2013 - February 2014) to gain insight on which social network drives the most engaged visitors. They call it the "Social Referrals That Matter” Report.

Social Referrals That Matter


1.) YouTube was the big winner:
The most engagement, lowest bounce rate, longest stay per visit and highest pages per visit. It is a video site, so that could account for the behaviors. People are there to watch stuff, after all.

2.) LinkedIn and Google+ bring good people:
Although LinkedIn & G+ have the fewest social referrals, people who do click on content shared by their connections on these platforms really dive in and spend some time.

3.) Facebook and Twitter tie for 4th place on referrals:
Their users have roughly the same bounce rate. Twitter users visit more pages, but Facebook users spend more time on the site after clicking than Twitter users.

4.) Pinterest isn't the end-all-be-all everyone said it would be:
Pinnies (as I call them) bounce as much as users on Facebook and Twitter, spend less time on the site and view fewer pages.

5.) Reddit users are a tough crowd for marketers:
They are "the most likely to abandon sites." They are loyal users, but not big fans of marketing.

6.) StumbleUpon comes in last:
The platform has the least engagement after clicking. Overall, users don't spend much time on the site or view many pages. But if they find something that really tickles their fancy, they could be there a while.

Interesting stuff! To see the full report from Shareaholic, click here.