Hitwise just published a report about how traffic patterns to retail sites are changing. Chief among the findings are that traffic from social media sites like MySpace and Facebook has doubled over the same time last year. According to the article, Social Networking Sites Fuel E-Commerce Traffic, on MediaPost:
“Social sites are driving more than 6% of retail traffic, up from 2.9% in 2005. MySpace alone accounted for about one-third of that traffic.
The increase in retail traffic reflects social sites increasingly becoming a starting point for Web users. “What we’re seeing is a trend among social networking sites, particularly MySpace, becoming a home base for Internet users,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise. That trend in turn generates more traffic from social sites to online retailers.”
As a reference point, Google is responsible for driving 16% of all traffic to retail sites. I think the interesting trend to follow here will be evaluating this traffic to see how their shopping behavior differs from that of let’s say, a Google searcher. Given that e-tailers live, breathe, and sleep the intricacies of their audience, I think we’ll start seeing comparisons of social media site traffic to that of general web search traffic, or referrer sites. For example, someone using tech blog Engadget to read a review of the latest Sony laptop and the subsequent action/s of that user as they head over to sonystyle.com. The analogy of “not all traffic is good traffic” is apt but of course, we don’t know that much yet about how social media site users as a group are shopping.
And what is the impact of social media traffic referrers to employer web sites or corporate home pages after someone writes or Podcasts on Facebook about their great new job that they just started? What will this endorsement mean to their peers that are part of their social network? What will the impact on the employer brand be?
[tags]MySpace, Facebook, Social Media[/tags]