Social media has very little direct impact on most website traffic, according to research from ForeSee Results. Less than 1% of website visits, on average, come directly from a social media URL. This finding suggests that the direct impact of social media is minimal, but also that the true value of social media cannot be quantified only by examining the traffic coming directly from a social media URL.
While only 1% of site visitors come from a social media URL, 18% of site visitors report being influenced by social media to visit a website. These numbers represent benchmark averages; individual companies show a wide range of direct and indirect influence. This tells us is that traditional clickstream metrics don’t give us a full picture of what value social media efforts are bringing to our business.
This is where the study comes in. They call it the Social Media Value Benchmark. Among other things it tells us people who are influenced by social media have a higher average order size, have higher customer satisfaction, and have higher loyalty than those who aren’t influenced by social media.
The Benchmark includes nearly 300,000 completed consumer surveys on more than 180 websites across a dozen private and public sector industries, including websites for Department of Defense, Drugstore.com, General Mills, ESPN, Express, Kellogg, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ticketmaster, Sears, and Suntrust, among others.
If you want more information on the survey a white paper is available from ForeSee Results at their website. It’s free but they will ask for your contact information before you’re allowed to download.