When it Comes to Social Sharing, FacebookDominates but Twitter Gets the ClicksPosted by Sheila Shayon on June 9, 2011 05:00 PMhttp://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2011/06/09/Facebook-Dominates-Social-Sharing.aspxWhen it comes to determining the ROI of social marketing, brands are more concerned aboutengagement, a big part of which is what gets shared, than the number of followers theyveaccrued on the social web.That prompted ShareThis (whose button enables one-click sharing), Starcom MediaVestGroup and Rubinson Partners to look at how and why people share online, in a researchproject they’re calling “the most comprehensive study of online social sharing to date.”Among their findings, sharing now produces an estimated 10% of all web traffic and 31% ofreferral traffic to sites from search engines and social networks.The study parsed the ShareThis database of activity for the month of March 2011, in agranular analysis of over 7 billion "sharing signals" of 300 million plus monthly unique usersacross the top 1,000 publisher websites with ShareThis functionality.Facebook accounted for 56% of all shared content and 38% of all shared content clickedthrough. Email accounted for 17% of clicked-on shared content in March, while Twittergenerated 11%.As Adotas notes, links shared on Twitter were the most clicked (4.8 times each), which isalso the average number of clicks based on all shared-to sites via ShareThis (e.g., blogs andbookmarking tools). Links shared on Facebook garnered a not-shabby 4.3 average while linksshared through email earned 1.7 clicks on average.Sharing is less viral than one might think. “Links are much less likely to be clicked beyondthe initial set of people they are shared with. In other words, if you share a link directly withme and I know you, I will probably click on it. But if I then pass that link along to peopleonce or twice removed from you, the chances they will click on the link falls dramatically,”according to TechCrunch.
“Sharing is core to what we do at ShareThis and we’ve always believed that it is one of themost important behaviors online, one that has the potential to power the larger Interneteconomy,” commented Tim Schigel, CEO of ShareThis, about the research.According to Jeff Flemings, SMG’s SVP/Human Experience Centers, “This joint researchproject with ShareThis helps us understand people’s sharing behavior in unprecedented depthand granularity. We will use this understanding to help brands enable sharing behavior andintegrate it into human experiences.”Overall takeaways, none too surprising, for the researchers included that:• Sharing is bigger than fans, friends and followers• Sharing is about scale, not virality• Everyone who shares is an influencer if the subject is important to him or her• Sharing is about moments of opportunity and relevance.And thus the earliest learnings of socialization, garnered on the playground, have made theirway to the largest classroom in the world, as their digital equivalents are emerging.