Building Visitor Loyalty with Social Media

If you’re working on a long-term web strategy (and who isn’t?), loyalty is a valuable but often overlooked metric to monitor. It digs deeper than pageviews and time on site to uncover whether or not visitors actually come back for more on a regular basis. Google Analytics Evangelist Avinash Kaushik lists loyalty among his “awesome web measurements” based on the assumption that, if visitors are willing to come back again and again, you must be providing some sort of value.

The question is, what makes a visitor loyal? Where do the so-called “regulars” come from? We dug into data to find out a bit more about our most loyal site visitors.

Measuring visitor loyalty

We update our site with new content twice daily, so it seemed reasonable to consider “regular visitors” those that visit four or more times per month. To take a closer look at where these visitors come from, we measured:

  • percentage of visitors from all traffic sources who visit four or more times per month
  • percentage of visitors from all social traffic sources who visit four or more times per month
  • percentage of visitors from specific social traffic sources (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest) who visit four or more times per month

Visitor loyalty trends

Compared to traffic from all sources combined, social media traffic is much more likely to visit the site regularly. Broken down further, we see that 18.88% of visitors from Twitter return to four or more times per month. Facebook and Twitter follow in loyalty, with 10.9% and 10.18% regulars, respectively.

Interestingly enough, social newcomers Google Plus and Pinterest each drove 0% “regular visitors;” in fact, the vast majority of visitors sourced from these sites visited just one time in the past month.

Social Visitor Loyalty

The value in social traffic

This data highlights an often overlooked value add for social media: platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn reel in a loyal readership. After all, the end goal of content marketing is to build a reputation as a trusted industry source. While one-time visitors who stumble upon our site certainly can’t hurt, it’s the loyal readers – those who come back for more research and tutorials – who turn into prospects.