We recently had an inquiry about bounce rate from visitors who entered a site through social media sources being significantly higher than the bounce rate from other traffic sources. “Bounce rate” is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page). At 46%, this number did appear significantly higher than the bounce rates from other sources.
So what is a good social media bounce rate, anyway?
In a Mashable article on bounce rate metrics, Morra Aarons-Mele, founder of the digital cause marketing agency Women Online, explains:
“An average bounce rate is about 50%.” Aarons-Mele reiterates that consumers live in their feeds, and that is a golden opportunity for brands. “Use social media content to engage people, and keep them informed and entertained. But when you really need to reach them — use email and social media. This way, you can get your content out to people without having to rely on them coming to your site of their own volition, and probably ‘bouncing’ off.”
The note about consumers living in their feeds is important. If you’re one of those people on a social network and pretty focused on your feed, you may click on a link out of curiosity, but not necessarily a strong desire to peruse the whole website you’ve just landed on. I would say I’m one of those people. I’ll scroll through feeds, click on something that interests me, then click away and return to social. It’s a habit to navigate the web that way.
To the second point in the quote above, social should be used more as a tool with which to engage people, spread brand awareness, etc. Obviously, if it drives website traffic as well, that’s great. However, keeping the focus more so on the relationship/trust aspect and establishing those relationships and credibility will hopefully encourage someone (when catching them in the mindset of “I need to plan a vacation” as opposed to “I’m arbitrarily scrolling through my social media feeds”) to recall the property and be inspired to then visit the property’s website.
From what I’ve seen on behalf of certain hotel clients, people like and are interested in very specific things. And they probably go to the website to investigate those specific things (i.e. Sunday brunch, tea, specific events, holiday happenings, etc.) but don’t necessarily surf the site beyond that and wouldn’t be the kind of customer that would necessarily book an over-night stay.
I spoke with a friend that is the web analyst for a leading specialty retailer to get her thoughts and see if she had anything additional to add. She said the bounce rate is typically higher for social because the platform is so different. You can look at the campaign and check the percentage of new visitors to your site, then check if they had a call to action on site (or whatever the end goal was for the campaign). She noted they wouldn’t necessarily regularly measure anything with bounce rate percentage because it is typically higher on social so it’s not as helpful when sharing engagement.
It could also be useful for hotels to have a more strategic approach in regard to where on their websites they’re sending people from social media posts. Perhaps testing tactics such as varying post type and content. Hotels who are heavy on trying to send people to their website may inadvertently drive people away from Facebook by posting too many links about the property itself. As much engagement as those posts may be receiving, the quantity at which they’re posted may not be encouraging people to visit the site, since, if they just visited it recently, they may not feel like they’re getting anything new.
BUT, if they start varying the content, it revives that element of surprise. That makes them a resource on (travel, their city, local events/attractions/happenings, etc.) and I’ll be more curious to click on their links to see what they’re sharing.
While there are a number of general ways to reduce bounce rates, it can be slightly harder hotels to consistently create new and exciting content, since, for the most part, the site’s main pages remain pretty stagnant. Creating an on-site blog is a useful way to remedy this issue and serve as a platform for posting new information regularly.
What other tactics have you employed to improve your bounce rates and encourage more site loyalty via social media?