Out of the many social network choices for reaching business professionals, LinkedIn stands clearly above Facebook, twitter, Google and email according to findings from a recent Blog-Off contest. LinkedIn dominated hands down with 55% of 2,350 directly referred URLs (separated from the 6,000+ total page views) over two weeks in a Blog-Off contest that involved 12 marketing and social media thought leaders. Facebook eked ahead of twitter with 13% of direct referring URL's versus 11% from the rapidly growing micro-blog site.
Well known giant search engine Google referred 9% of the 2,350 segment up from 0.5% of traffic five months ago on the Community Marketing Blog. Email accounted for 6% of direct traffic tying with AlphaInventions.com at 6%.
The balance of traffic for over 3,650 page views was predominately referred by URL's that the authors had posted to other blogs or sources that TypePad was unable to identify. There were no additional social network segments that achieved greater than 0.5% of directly referred traffic. Referring blog sites from the individual authors formed the next greatest segment out of the 6,000+ total page views.
Insights From Statistics
- A growing trend appears to be reflected in the referring groups; 'business professionals prefer to get their news and thought leadership from business resources'. While Facebook may have over 200 million members versus Linkedn's 40 million it is clear the business audience is concentrated in LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn may have an even greater future ahead for sharing thought leadership, news, best practice, education and much more. Watch this space. Social networks find their tipping points and explosive growth when minor trends gain publicity and erupt in mass behaviour that stabilizes into social norms.
- While authors made good use of Facebook there is little question that in a business to business communication the best place to build relationships is either LinkedIn, twitter or email.
- Authors that participated predominately came from LinkedIn with a couple arriving from twitter. This likely biased data as Plaxo and Ecademy were not sourced for potential authors. At the same time none of the 12 authors appeared to involve these networks.
- There may be a loyalty factor with LinkedIn members as this group demonstrated they do not spread themselves to thin or to many other business networks (based on what the data indicates).
- Key blogs and social network relationships are the next greatest resource for building traffic, relationships and online community social media interactivity. This repesented over 30% of direct traffic (analysis is ongoing).
What are your thoughts and findings? Feel free to share below.
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