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YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn drive the most engaged social referrals to websites, according to a recent report from Shareaholic.

In its analysis, the company examined the the average visit duration, pages per visit, and bounce rate for visitors referred to its network of 200,000+ websites from eight social media platforms: Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and YouTube.

On average, YouTube was the top performer across all three metrics, Shareaholic found. The video platform's referrals to websites have the lowest average bounce rate (43.19%), the highest pages per visit (2.99), and the longest visit duration (227.82 seconds).

Although Google+ and LinkedIn drive the fewest social referrals to Shareaholic's network, they also bring in some of the most engaged visitors, according to the research:

  • Google+ users, on average, spend more than three minutes diving into content on websites shared by connections in their circles; they also visit 2.45 pages during each visit and bounce only 50.63% of the time.
  • LinkedIn users spend 2:13 minutes on average on each link they click, viewing 2.23 pages with each visit, and bouncing 51.28% of the time.

Additional key findings from the report include the following:

  • Visitors referred from Twitter and Facebook to websites are roughly equally engaged. Both types of visitors bounce at the same rate (56.35%), though Twitter users visit more pages on average (2.15 vs 2.03) and Facebook users tend to spend slightly more time on a site post-click (127.44 seconds vs. 123.10).
  • Pinterest users view fewer pages per visit than Facebook and Twitter visitors (1.71) and spend considerably less time on site (64.67 seconds) than visitors from all other networks except for StumbleUpon.
  • Reddit users are the most likely to abandon sites (70.16% bounce rate).
  • Visitors arriving from StumbleUpon to sites are the least engaged, viewing only 1.5 pages per visit on average and spending just 54.09 seconds on site.

About the research: The report was based on data collected between September 2013 and February 2014 from Shareaholic's network of 200,000+ sites reaching more than 250 million unique monthly visitors.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji