Over 7 Billion Sharing Signals, 300 Million Monthly Users and 1,000 Publishers Analyzed to Uncover Sharing Truths for Marketers

PALO ALTO, CA – ShareThis, the world’s largest platform for sharing and influence, today announced that it is releasing, in collaboration with Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), the 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 part in a series of studies as part of an ongoing partnership between ShareThis and SMG.

The study focuses on ShareThis’ database of sharing activity for the month of March 2011 and includes a detailed analysis of more than 7 billion sharing signals across all major sharing channels, specifically looking at the sharing patterns of more than 300 million monthly users across the top 1,000 publisher websites of ShareThis.

The study highlights how sharing stacks up compared to search when it comes to generating traffic for websites and brands, how people share different types of content across different types of social channels, and how sharing gives all users the ability to be influential. Specifically, the study findings include a number of takeaways important to marketers and advertisers as they explore ways to better serve, reach and engage their audiences. 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.

According to Jeff Flemings, SMG’s SVP/Human Experience Centers, “Sharing is a critical aspect of creating meaningful human experiences today. Getting large groups of people to share content, reactions, and updates with others in their social network at scale is a marketing must, but people only share what’s important to them, so it’s essential to have a deep understanding of what people are sharing and why. This joint research project with ShareThis helps us understand people’s sharing behavior in unprecedented depth and granularity. We will use this understanding to help brands enable sharing behavior and integrate it into human experiences.”

“Sharing is core to what we do at ShareThis and we’ve always believed that it is one of the most important behaviors online, one that has the potential to power the larger Internet economy,” said Tim Schigel, CEO of ShareThis. “We’re thrilled to have conducted this first-of-its-kind study with such an influential and well respected company as SMG to provide publishers, advertisers and marketers with a deeper look at this online behavior and concretely show just how important sharing is.”

“This collaboration between SMG and ShareThis produced a study that was not only the first of its kind, but the most comprehensive to date,” said Joel Rubinson. “We’re honored to be involved in a study of this importance that will undoubtedly provide valuable information to marketers, advertisers and publishers.”

By: admin


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