Although social media is brilliant for building your brand, there's one area that many brands and businesses are starting to look at: The effect it has on organic search results.
The company running this test built five websites across five different US cities. They also built them a following across social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
As you can see from the results below, getting the websites +1s on Google was the biggest driver of organic search engine traffic although Facebook and Twitter also had a good positive effect.
The stat that I find most interesting though is that when there is no social media activity or sharing, the results actually provide a very slight negative change in the numbers. The only thing that I would worry about is the quality of the followers across the different channels, The company who ran this test are careful to say that it might not be 100 per cent statistically accurate.
They are also a search agency so it's no surprise that they would be claiming Google is more effective than social media. Even though it is a small test, I'd have to agree with the results in a broad sense. From what I've seen, it is clear that Google is starting to leverage their huge search engine to try and get into social in any way possible. If they do start showing that Google + can drive traffic then people might just start using it.