The Plot Thickens for Social Content Sharing

Over the past year, I’ve written a number of blogs about social media as it relates to content and website traffic referrals. My post from last November talks about the phenomenon that Mashable calls the “Sharepocalypse,” which is basically the growing social compulsion to share content just for sharing’s sake.

In September 2011, I questioned whether word-of-mouth social media referrals would soon eclipse search as the leading source of traffic to websites. After reading a recent eMarketer article entitled “With Referral Traffic, Social Media Sites Build Up Connections,” I suspect that the plot is thickening. Not only is website traffic increasingly being driven from big social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but the smaller social media platforms like Tumblr, Pinterest and Meebo are now collectively helping to drive traffic right back to those platforms.

What I think will be really interesting to watch is how big social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook react to the allegations that Google is favouring search results for its own social network, Google+, over its competitors. Will they form an alliance with smaller social networks to create an ecosystem that is increasingly less reliant on search to drive traffic to websites? Likewise, if the “Sharepocalypse” continues to grow and thrive, how will this impact brand investments in search over social media? Let me know what you think.

Image source: iStockPhoto.com

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