Twitter Sent Me: The Power of Referral - Insights

Twitter Sent Me: The Power of Referral


2 minute read

Understand the source of your social traffic and amplify your content

There are a lot of vanity metrics when it comes to determining the value of your content marketing strategy, but understanding your referral traffic can be one of the most important data points about your campaign. I’m talking about social traffic and some search, which make up the majority of web traffic. You can use referral data to determine the right content to post, where you should post specific articles, and what content you should amplify through advertising on each network.

Referral sources are an invaluable measure of the sustainability and success of a campaign. Media companies focus on this information to determine the ongoing value of their distribution strategy.

When AOL narrowed down its choices for a media company to buy in 2011, we (I was on the corporate development team at the time) saw Facebook as the future of content discovery, and the Huffington Post was dominating in that distribution channel. This gave us the confidence in the sustainability of the Huffington Post and the predictability of future audience growth.

Marketers don’t advertise the same way on ESPN as they do on TNT. Understanding the differences in your audience is just as important on social media channels.

To determine the right content for each audience, you need to monitor what topics are referring the most traffic back to your website on each social media site. If your articles about venture capital are driving a significantly higher percentage of traffic from Twitter than from Facebook, you can focus on content that sufficiently satisfies that interest graph.

If you only look at the referral traffic on your company blog as a whole, you can miss a valuable story about your content marketing. For instance, if a site as a whole is receiving 50 percent of its traffic from Facebook, the content marketer might put all of its eggs in the Facebook basket. That might work, but if you use granular traffic source information on a topic basis, you might quickly learn that certain topics are driving almost all of your Facebook traffic to the site. If you then try to amplify an article that doesn’t cover those topics in a sponsored post on Facebook, you may burn your entire budget on a losing campaign.

As a content marketer, your job is to get people to your company website, keep them there, and have them engage with your brand. To accomplish this, you must know where your audience originates and what each subset of your audience is interested in. Once you understand this, you can amplify the right content and effectively engage your audiences across all of your distribution channels.

By Benjy Boxer, NewsCred Product Manager. This article originally appeared on Lean Back, The Economist Group.