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Chris Cayer is a Social Media and Competitive Intelligence expert with accounts on more than 600 different social networks, and more than 2650 accounts under the management of his company, Reyactive LLC, which engages in social media mass distribution for brand protection and brand engagement strategies on behalf of its global clients. Mr. Cayer is one of the Top 50 Most Connected Marketing and Advertising Professionals on LinkedIn.
Really important article here. Well presented.
Traffic-wise, it didn't make the cut. It is growing reasonably quickly, but it is still way down on the traffic-generating list right now. Also not on this list are a number of overseas social networks that have very high traffic generating abilities but have very limited or specific markets.
Very well put.
That really goes to the point of my article - even true social media experts have a tendency to ignore some of the biggest, most influential, and most powerful social media as they maintain a near-fanatical focus on Facebook and Twitter, largely to the exclusion of almost everything else.
These statistics clearly do not rank other global social networks like Orkut, or some of the networks in Asia and the Pacific-Rim which also drive massive amounts of traffic to businesses all over the world. In a global economy, businesses that ignore those kinds of resources and opportunities are really missing out.
And although I resonate well with the logic behind the 'focus your efforts' approach to social media management for the smallest of small businesses, most companies over $25 million annual sales simply don't have that as a valid excuse, and major social media leaders really need to do more to step up and engage businesses to educate them and keep them from simply following the herd blindly.
I guess that role is going to fall to me and those like me who want to know more about all of the options available to business, so you can look forward to seeing more articles like this one from me on SocialMediaToday about a variety of social networks and how they each have relevance to building businesses both in the US and around the world.
You make some really great points here, Kent. Yes, the revenue drops at Facebook have a complex mixture of causality, however traffic is in the mix of causes and as a causal metric does match quite well to the performance over time of Facebook's revenues. Their revenues for the last few months have dropped and similarly so has their traffic since March. I don't wish to make the case that traffic is the only measure of performance for Facebook, or for any social media for that matter, but to say that it has nothing to do with it clearly does not correlate to available data or to the trends shown in the chart from StatCounter.
My point about the likelihood that overall traffic will follow suit to the decline in revenues at Facebook is that given the decline already showing in the chart since March, if the revenues continue to decline then advertisers will do less to promote their Facebook pages, and traffic will tend to trend even less, potentially starting a multiplier effect of decline, similar in arc to StumbleUpon's decline in the previous 6 months. Since StumbleUpon's numbers were much higher 6 months before that, and Facebook's were much lower during that period, it is statistically not supported to conclude anything about the dominance of any social media at all - it is too turbulent to be able to say that Facebook will remain on top of the leaderboard, especially when sites like Pinterest and Youtube are on upward trends and Facebook and StumbleUpon are on downward trends. Still, these are likelihoods - every social media has the opportunity to take corrective measures and adjust the course of traffic on their networks over the next few months, so these charts may only suggest what the future holds - it cannot predict it.
That really is true - smaller companies need to pick their battles based on available resources and real alignment to their company's customers. What these traffic statistics show is that in this cycle Facebook has started a traffic decline as well as of about March, while others are revving up, so if you are a smaller organization you will want to pay a lot more attention to make sure your social media spend in time and cash is going to the social media that will have the most impact for your business. It also shows that maybe the social media that small and large businesses think are important may not be nearly as important as others, but should not necessarily be ignored.
Most importantly though, this is a very serious flag for corporations and organizations in the $25 million per year revenue band and up, that their social media strategies need a serious wake up call. I've chatted with a number of the directors of social media for top technology firms in the $10-40 billion range, and they have no insight deeper than Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, and they all have said they have not had the reach or penetration they were looking for. These statistics help show that perhaps the main driving reason is they are concentrating the bulk of their multimillion dollar social media efforts on the wrong social media.