In SmashApps.com, they published a post Search Engine Traffic vs Social Media Traffic? Which is Better? listing pros and cons, but it was leaning more thoward social media.
For one, Social Media is not Social Network. Big difference as one is a way of marketing while the other is the actual place online, like Facebook or Twitter. Google is tracking social network traffic like Twitter and this boosts those who have blogs and are trying to drive traffic while pushing their site’s content to the masses. Google tries to keep up with social networks, but obviously the real time results in getting news is a bit overwhelming.
The problem is not to compare the results as there are more search engines than just Google, Bing and others – and they are great at documenting information in the long run. Twitter and Facebook still have glitches from time to time in coughing up info from months ago while searching, but the search engines – they will have it documented. I think that the social networking sites are great for pushing content anytime, but will never phase out search engines, so in the long run, it really is not something that should be a competition.
Both search engine and social networking depend on users possibly being interested in what you will say. While social networks are a great quick fix for short term traffic, search engines are great for long term results. While some of the SmashApps article is a bit “pulled out of the butt”, I would agree with a few points other than bandwidth issues due to the fact many web hosts offer pretty hefty bandwidth on their eyecandy packages.
Most of this depends on your ability to target an audience that shares an interest in what you talk about- your niche. It is great to attract visitors from the social network streams OR the search engines EQUALLY, not to depend on just one or the other.
What is your insight on obtaining traffic via search engine or social networks? Which one do you feel are more effective?