Organic Social Media Is Dead

by Jim March 8, 2017


Welcome back Rankers! How are you going? Guess what, apparently organic social media traffic is dead. That is from the man that set up and runs the ‘Social Media Examiner,’ Mike Stelzner. He’s a really smart bloke. This is a great little podcast over at with Keith Krance, Molly Pittman and Ralph Burns. It’s a really good interview. What Mike is saying is that if you are relying on organic traffic out of social media, such as your Facebook page on social, your brand page, your Twitter account or your reposts on LinkedIn or Google Plus, or any of these places, he’s saying the majority of the traffic they get, and this is Social Media Examiner, is all coming from Google organic. Which is normally the case.

Social Should Breed Organic

For instance, if we see a site where they have a lot of social media traffic but not a lot of Google organic traffic, that’s usually an indication that they’re leaving traffic, or money, on the table. If you have a lot of social media traffic, you should be getting a lot of organic traffic.

SEO organic growth
SEO organic growth

For example, this is a site we worked on a couple of years ago. This is before we started working on the site. The blue line represents entire traffic to the site and the orange line is just Google organic traffic. You can see that back then it made up 26% of Google organic traffic. If we go to today, you can see the numbers over a thirty-day period were 2400 all up with 642 of those from Google. If I go and have a look at the last thirty days and where we’re at now, you can see obviously the traffic is a lot higher, but mainly that’s come through Google organic. So, nearly 14,000 a month now just from Google organic. I would think that 50% is probably a little low for this site as it relies a lot on building community inside social media.

So I’m not saying that building a community using social media is not important, it is, but what Mike is saying is that you should go and do those things but don’t rely on the traffic to your website to come from those activities.
If you want to work out where you should be playing in social, and I’ve had these conversations a lot recently with a couple of mates (Hi Steve! Hi Sean!). That’s Steve Vallas and Sean Callanan from Chunky Media. They’re very gung-ho on Snapchat. Snapchat had its float this week in the U.S.

Battle of the Platforms

What I’m looking at here is activity for Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram in search over the last seven days. So you can see where the IPO is for Snapchat and the spike for Twitter is actually the Oscars. What that shows me is that Twitter is a pretty important medium for anything live, as that’s the only one that spiked during the Oscars. The bumps on Snapchat and Instagram, they are all the weekends. Social networks are more active over the weekends.

snapchat vs instagram vs twitter
snapchat vs instagram vs twitter

So you can start to think about where to play once you understand these things.
The general consensus for Snap is that nobody under 30 is really using it that much; it could be an up and coming network. They’re calling themselves a camera company now and not a social media company, selling Snap glasses, officially called ‘Spectacles,’ and those sorts of things. It’s hard to see how they’re going to increase in user take-up because Instagram basically nobbled them as they brought out the same product as Snap did last year and that stopped the uptake.
When I go and have a look at Google in the U.S. I see that Twitter is still just as popular as Instagram there. Which I found surprising. But there it is. You can again see the IPO for Snap and that it has stayed up a little since then. But Twitter and Instagram are on par in the U.S. for usage, which isn’t everything I hear going around. It’s certainly not the case in other countries. It would seem Twitter has lost ground, certainly in countries outside the U.S.


The graph for Australia shows us that there wasn’t as much interest in the Oscars in Australia as there was in the U.S. When I add ‘Google’, and yes, people do Google ‘Google.’ They really do, as it’s the universal search bar. Now I found this fascinating. So obviously, Google has a lot more traffic, and Facebook has more traffic than Google. This is over the past seven days and we see that in Australia, Google peaks at 9a.m. I’m assuming this is my time zone on the graph. Australian Eastern Standard Time. But it peaks every morning at 9a.m.

Google activity in Australia
Google activity in Australia

Then it has another little blip around midday, then again around two o’clock. But at lunchtime, it has this massive drop. So at lunchtime, searches drop in Google. I just find that sort of stuff fascinating.
If you then go and look at the U.S. it’s a similar sort of thing. It’s 1a.m. my time which would be 9a.m. New York time. So globally, people start their day with Google. I would not have thought that, but it’s what happens. I just wanted to run the headline today, “Social media is dead,” as we’ve had so many, “SEO is dead,” headlines over the years! It was interesting as we post a lot to social media, we don’t get a lot of traction with the brand stuff, we get more with the personal stuff, and as far as Facebook goes, I’m certainly going to be doing a lot more Facebook Live videos. If you’re on Facebook, follow our StewArt Media page and we’ll start doing more Facebook Live stuff, and I’ll probably start doing this show live again and take questions as we go.
Well we’ll see you next week. Make sure you follow us on Facebook and YouTube. Thanks very much. Bye.

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