The folks at ShareThis, with the little button with immense sharing capabilities, have been tracking their users and, in a recent report, revealed their sharing behaviors. In a study, put together with Starcom MediaVest Group and Rubinson Partners, ShareThis found that, among more than 300 million people a month who share links using a ShareThis button, sharing produces an estimated 10% of all Internet traffic.
Facebook Dominates Traffic Referrals
Not only that, but sharing also produces 31% of referral traffic to sites from search and social. Of that, Facebook dominates, accounting for 38% of all referral traffic, followed by email and Twitter, which held 17% and 11 % of referrals, respectively. While these percentages representing clicked links, not just anyone is clicking. The study found that people are more likely to click links shared by people they know, and less likely to click links when recommended by people once or twice removed from their friends. (One more reason how filtering is narrowing online perspectives.)
Share Only What You Know?
Speaking of limiting, of users who share, 80% usually stick to one category -- that is, a certain type of information they prefer to share with others. And in return, more than 70% will only ever click on one category, whether it’s business, politics or entertainment. When it comes to entertainment news, most people prefer to share it via Facebook. For business and health-related news, email and Twitter are preferred.
Improve Your Influence
So what does it all mean for you and your information?
As a sharer of news and information, it may mean that, for you to extend your reach, you may need to expand your social network, so what you recommend gets seen by more people. Limiting your network to just family and friends, for instance, may be limiting your influence. As well, if you want more people to see what’s influencing you, you’ll need to choose the appropriate platform. That’s not to say that Facebook is only useful for sharing entertainment news, but rather it may behoove you to monitor the sharing trends of your followers and fans so that you can improve your content’s visibility.