According to research released last Thursday by ForeSee Results, fewer than 1% of website visits, on average, come directly from a social media URL. While only 1% of site visitors come from a social media URL, 18% of site visitors report being influenced by social media to visit a website. The finding suggests that the direct impact of social media is minimal, but also that the true value of social media cannot be quantified only by examining the traffic coming directly from a social media URL.
"What this tells us is that traditional clickstream metrics don't give us a full picture of what value social media efforts are bringing to our business," said Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee Results. "Companies have long been able to count how many Facebook fans, how many Tweets, and how many people click through ads on social sites, but they haven't had a way to calculate a tangible return on investment for social media efforts, not to mention other marketing initiatives."