Every year, Technorati does their State of the Blogosphere study which surveys thousands of bloggers. Trends since even last year are astounding, but the number one lesson to take away from their extensive research and report, is that the real traffic drivers are free!
A quick look at this graph shows just how powerful Facebook and Twitter are for getting your information out there into the world of social media. The distant followers (but still very important sites) are LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Digg, and YouTube, among others. Of course, the type of content you produce and the industry you are in will influence which sites you share on and how, but it’s obvious no one can afford to skip on Facebook and Twitter.
If you look more recently since Technorati came out with these numbers, you will see that StumbleUpon has actually become one of the biggest social media traffic drivers as well, even passing Facebook at times. Be careful though, all traffic isn’t created equal. Traffic is vanity, conversion is sanity.
And…guess what was in last place? Paid online advertising. Even if you have to invest some to develop and implement a social media strategy, you will at least come away with relevant knowledge and skills, as well as a base of content that will last through time and all eternity, something you don’t get when you spend money on flash in the pan AdWords or other paid solutions that just aren’t as effective long-term.