Starcom MediaVest and ShareThis release study on social sharing

A joint study by Starcom MediaVest Group and ShareThis analyses seven billion shares, across 300 million monthly users and 1000 publishers to uncover sharing truths for marketers.

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 8, 2011 8:36 AM
Starcom MediaVest and ShareThis release study on social sharing

ShareThis and Starcom MediaVest Group today announced that they are releasing the results of a comprehensive study on online sharing behavior, taken across a sample of 300 million monthly users on 1000 publishers, who shared over seven billion pieces of content.

Former ARF Chief Research Officer Joel Rubinson conducted the study into sharing behavior, which is shaping the way users interact with each other and with content online.

The goal of the study was to look at how sharing compares with search in generating traffic for websites and brands, along with how people share different types of content across different types of social networks. One of the results that the study generated is that sharing of content is more important for brands than building up fans, friends or followers, as it generates almost half of the traffic for brands, and also accounts for 31 per cent of referral traffic.

The study also found that most people are not 'influencers' per se. An individual is not universally influential, but could carry a lot of influence on one or two topics.

The study also highlighted the importance of sharing content at the right time. Sharing is a viable marketing solution for reaching audiences if the timing is right, which varies accord to a lot of factors, such as the category of the brand.

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.”

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