Comparing traffic from the major social and media sites

Generating buzz and hype around content you create is an important aspect of internet marketing. Social media can help to build traffic, increase reach, build authority and credibility and ultimately, lead to more revenue.

Provided you provide informative, insightful, relevant and high quality content on a regular basis, the social networks should look after you with a healthy return on traffic. What’s more, social networks can help content to go viral and this can put your blog, business or site on the map for millions of people in a matter of days and weeks.

I thought I would list some of the major social and media networks that I regularly make use of when creating content for my online business consultancy, and give you an idea of the kind of traffic I generate and the quality of the traffic that comes from these sites.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive. There are plenty of other sites that you might consider using as part of your content creation, SEO and Internet marketing strategy. These are just the ones that I have something interesting to say about, at this particular point in time…

I have written articles that have generate many hundreds of retweets in a matter of a few days. You can see that this article, entitled “Awesome SEO tip for effective Internet marketing” has racked up around 450 retweets in the last few days.

This is great coverage. Don’t get me wrong. It means that nearly half a thousand people took a moment to add a link to that article to their twitter stream, exposing that article to all their followers. This lead to a bunch of new people following me too. All very helpful, indeed.

However, it is difficult to say how much traffic resulted from these tweets because the tweeted URL goes to businessinsider, and it is from that site that readers click through to my blog (where the article was originally published).

In terms of people clicking directly through to articles that I tweet about on my account, I find that the percentage is very low – around 1%. What kind of click-through do you get?

I like posting to LinkedIn groups. I find that, depending on the group, there are always a few people who take the time to respond to posts, and discussions start up fairly easily.

One big issue I have with LinkedIn is that groups are full of people willing to contribute content, but not full of people wanting to listen and learn. In other words, the majority of people are there to drive awareness of their own products, so in a sense, sharing your content on LinkedIn is a bit like preaching to the choir.

Despite that, I still find value in regularly posting and contributing to various groups as several clients have come to me through that site. It’s about business after all…

Of course, LinkedIn also behaves like Twitter in the sense that if you get a lot of people “sharing” your article on LinkedIn, that can induce social network effects that can drive huge amounts of traffic too.

Technorati is a great site, let down by its buggy behaviour. I regularly write articles for Technorati, and some, like this one, entitled “Turn sales into Internet marketing into more sales” have generated a lot of interest and traffic for my own blog.

Trying to change the name of your blog is impossible though because Technorati will simply change it back at some random point in the future. That is, if you manage to claim your blog through it at all.

Technorati insists on either original articles, or publishing articles first with attribution to them from your own blog if you choose to publish your content to your own site. This is quite restrictive because it also take them half a day to decide if they are going to publish the content in the first place.

All in all, however, I do think writing articles for Technorati is worthwhile – especially if you want to boost your Technorati authority.

Initially, I felt StumbleUpon was a waste of time. I began advertising through them, and while they sent the traffic they promised, it is the type of traffic that is looking for a cheap thrill. Something quick and visually instantaneous – not something thoughtful or insightful, or with plenty of text.

This initial impression turned out to be wrong. StumbleUpon is actually a great source of direct traffic. That traffic may be pretty impatient and not prone to hanging around, but it sends enough of it to make it more than worthwhile.

Out of the hundreds and thousands of visits it sends through, a few people will stick each time and go on to convert in one way or another. Not bad for simply clicking a “stumble” button.

Businessinsider is one of my new favourites. It took a while for the articles I wrote for them to pick up a bit of momentum, but I think that the more success you have, the easier it is to generate interest in subsequent articles.

Businessinsider sends a steady stream of interested and engaged readers to my site each day, and I have only written a few articles for them. They are also happy to publish original material from your blog, so you don’t have to give them exclusive content, or attribute your own content to them, like Technorati.

This is a very effective site for generating traffic – although it focuses on business matters so if this is not in your niche, you will have to look elsewhere.

Digg is an odd one. One article you write can go nuts, and another equally good, super interesting link won’t even cause a ripple. One of my personal favourite posts, that was hugely popular on twitter, LinkedIn, BI, and all over the show, hardly got noticed. Take a look at “Online marketing explained with reference to cows and please take a moment to Digg it.

The secret to success on Digg is making strategic partnerships with established Diggers. The more popular the diggers who digg your content, the more likely it is to go viral and get dugg all over the show.

It can be a long hard trial for anyone without an established Digg following.