Study Says Social Traffic Sucks at Driving Traffic vs. Content

According to a study issued by Outbrain, and their “experts,” Twitter and Facebook are ineffective means of driving traffic.  The study claims that content vs. social media is a much more effective means of driving traffic. In fact, according to their chart, even smaller sites like MSN and are actually better traffic drivers than, let’s say Facebook or Twitter.

Of course, in the chart they included their own company, claiming that it’s a great effective means of driving traffic.

But wait, as soon as they issued the report, they immediately withdrew it, and took out the numbers, issued a new chart without any numbers whatsoever – and put Facebook and Twitter suddenly at the top of the chart in driving traffic. They of course, are still in there.

The purpose of the study was to show that Social Media is not a significant driver of traffic, despite the size of users. However, the basis of their study is extremely shoddy, because it ignores one fact: that people engage within the social media platform itself and the type of traffic is significantly different.

For example a person on google may search for content and find content in 20 places and go to all those websites. Facebook, for example, can be more specific because followers of your fan page may be specifically interested in a product and while it in general drives less visitors, when it does drive visitors they are more specific.

This would be like comparing Google in general to Google Adwords, and saying that the ads in Google drive less traffic than general Google. That’s true, but fact – but also the purpose of social media advertising and advertising in general: to drive interested consumers, versus the general public. It’s called targeting.

Trying to say that all traffic is equal is ridiculous, as anyone in the performance marketing industry knows. It’s like telling me that there is an untapped source of customers for my new baby-oriented product in local prisons. Not all people are equal in internet marketing! Frankly, I wouldn’t want people from DrudgeReport visiting this site anymore than I’d want people from Prison visiting my online baby store.

Just another complete bullshit story by a company trying to promote their product while saying proven sources don’t work.

Pesach Lattin
Pesach Lattin
Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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