Website traffic from social media is overrated

It doesn’t matter how many people visit your website, this author contends. What matters is what they do when they get there.

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The most overrated social media metric is traffic from social outposts.

This blog post is symptomatic of this problem, although there have been hundreds (thousands?) like it.

Here’s the highlight: “With only 1 percent of Facebook’s user count, Pinterest sends 13 percent of the traffic Facebook does.”

Pinterest spawned a new way to consume and search for information, and it may be the poster child for the coming image-centric social Web that will make written blogs look quaintly Amish by 2014. But to make the case that Pinterest should be a big part of your marketing arsenal because it proportionally sends more traffic to your website than Facebook or Twitter is ridiculous.

Don’t forget, you are in the behavior business, not the eyeballs business.

Social media metrics that matter

When you determine the value of your social media efforts—and certainly when you calculate your return on investment—you must focus on behavior, not aggregation. Almost always, numbers that count steadily upward (number of fans, number of visitors, etc.) are inferior to ratios and percentages that measure behavior.

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