Twitter Grows as Traffic Source

It turns out that enabling tweeting pays off for publishers.

A tweet button on a website can drive seven times more link mentions, along with the referral traffic that can accompany those mentions, according to research released by BrightEdge, an SEO marketing platform. The research analyzed 4 million randomly selected tweets to track how users share and interact with social buttons and links.

According to the research, more than half — 53.6 percent — of the top 10,000 websites have integrated the social links and plugins of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. And adoption of the links is trending upward, increasing almost a full percentage point over the course of a single month.

But those figures also demonstrate that almost half of websites have not embraced even the most rudimentary efforts at integrating social media into their marketing efforts, meaning they’re missing out on a major traffic source. According to Brad Mattick, BridgeEdge’s VP of marketing, certain industries have been much quicker to embrace social than others.

“Some industries are taking it on well,” he said. “Retail, for example. For other industries, they haven’t figured out what it can mean for them.”

The research also sheds some light on how widely the major social media platforms have been adopted on popular websites. Not surprisingly Facebook is in the lead. Its like buttons and links to fan pages can be found on the homepages of more than 50 percent of the world’s largest sites.

Buttons and links for Twitter are seen on 42.5 percent of those sites, while the category’s newest entrant, Google+, is used only used on about 8.5 percent of the largest 10,000 sites.

Although some merchants may have concerns about consumer pushback as their Twitter feeds become littered with commercial messages, Mattick says that in general consumers have made peace with those messages.

“There are precedents for this,” he said. “When Gmail appeared, marketers were unsure about whether people would put up with having advertising in their email. The fact is they have. Facebook has had ads for a long time, and it has not slowed down adoption for them.”

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