Where do you go for information on the web?
91% of people visit Google to perform a web search, largely, I’m sure because it’s integrated by default into the toolbar of most browsers. Of the remaining 9%, the majority use Yahoo! search.
But until January this year, Yahoo! was still the most visited website in the USA – of course, it offers a far better established email package and is a popular homepage across the pond.
Now, Facebook gets more traffic than Yahoo! (data from Compete) and it says something about the nature of our use of the web.
We more likely to log into Facebook as soon as we wake up our computers, because the information on Facebook is more relevant to us than the information on Yahoo! It provides a daily or even hourly snapshot of the lives of our friends and family.
We’re also increasingly likely to make purchasing decisions based on our experiences within social media.
Trending topics in Twitter, recommendations and active links in Facebook and discussions and threads of forums and sites like LinkedIn are increasingly likely to inform our browsing activity.
USA Today receives 35% of its referral traffic from social networks, compared to just 6% from Google. Other companies are spotting the same trend…
So breaking down the social networks, how do they compare? Facebook takes the lion’s share, as you might expect, but Twitter’s ‘share-ability’ places it second, despite a much lower traffic volume.
With 400-million users globally, and still growing at an alarming rate, and rapidly growing, Facebook is an essential channel for marketing to a younger audience.
Last month, Nielsen reported that Facebook users use the site for an average of 7 hours every month (up 10%). That puts Facebook just behind Google.
Yes, social media benefits SEO, but if that’s the only reason you’re in it then you’re missing a trick. With the correct execution, it can be a serious and powerful marketing tool, referring hungry consumers to your website.