ShareThis: Sharing More Than Just Fans, Friends and Follwers

In collaboration with Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), ShareThis released he most comprehensive study of online social sharing to date. Conducted by former ARF Chief Research Officer, Joel Rubinson, the study paints a picture of an online behavior that, while still unexplored and untapped by many publishers and advertisers, is shaping the way users interact with each other and with content online. This study is the first in a series of studies as part of an ongoing partnership between ShareThis and SMG.

Some highlights include:

  • Sharing is bigger than fans, friends and followers. Sharing generates almost half of the traffic for websites and brands that is created by search — 10 percent of website visits come from sharing. Sharing also accounts for 31 percent of referral traffic.
  • Sharing is about scale, not virality. Shared links are, on average, across all sharing channels, clicked on 4.9 times each, so content shared by large groups of people reach a wider audience than content passed along from others.
  • Everyone who shares is an influencer if the subject is important to him or her. Instead of one person being universally influential on a wide range of topics, the study found that many people are influential on only one or two topics.
  • Sharing is about moments of opportunity and relevance. The study proves that sharing is a viable marketing solution for reaching audiences when they are most receptive to a particular category of advertising, such as CPG, Business & Financial Services, or Consumer Electronics.

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