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Facebook Still Top Dog in Social Media Traffic Trends

Content publishing website Shareaholic has taken a look at social referral trends for the third quarter of 2014, as well as the past year, and their report makes for interesting reading.

Encompassing data from over 300k sites with a total of more than 400m unique monthly users, the report gives an excellent insight into current social media trends.

Analyzing data from eight of the largest social media networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn), Shareaholic has studied how much traffic they each send to the publishing site.
In terms of the number one referrer, the results are unsurprising. Although experiencing a slight dip in referrals this quarter, Facebook (22.36%) is still way out in front of the pack, driving 4x as much traffic as the next social media network, Pinterest (5.52%). The remaining six networks account for very little traffic, all of them registering less than 1%.

Over the last three months, only Google+ and LinkedIn saw an increase in traffic, but with their referral percentages so low this barely made an impact on overall numbers.

Taking a look at a broader picture from the past year, three networks have seen an increase in referrals: Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. Facebook is again the big winner, an increase of 115% placing it well ahead of its competitors. Collectively, these eight networks accounted for just under 30% of website traffic, but this is almost entirely thanks for Facebook and Pinterest.

YouTube took the biggest loss over the past year, with referrals down by 87%, and over the past three months it accounts for less than 0.1% of traffic.
In future, we’ll be looking out for Instagram statistics, but due to the nature of the network, meaningful data is very hard to get hold of.

So what can marketers draw from this? Well, Facebook is undoubtedly still the most important social media network for marketers to use, but the stagnation of almost all networks over the past quarter is something to watch closely.

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Lucas Martins