Posted June 6, 2011 3:17 pm by with 1 comment

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ShareThis has released a new study about. . .surprise, surprise, internet sharing. They took a look at the 300 million monthly users who click on one of those ShareThis buttons and here’s what they found out.

  • Sharing accounts for 31% of referral traffic and 10% of website visits come from sharing.
  • Shared links on Twitter are clicked an average of 4.9 times each. Facebook 4.3 and email only 1.7.
  • Facebook accounts for 38% of all sharing referral traffic.
  • Email brings in 17%.
  • Twitter brings in 11%

TechCrunch delves a little deeper and adds:

  • Shared links lose ground as they move further from the source.
  • 80% of people share within one category and 70% will only click on one category with entertainment and shopping ruling in the Facebook arena.

To summarize, sharing is good and should be encouraged through the use of widgets like ShareThis or Facebook Like buttons on posts, products and pages. Before you get there though, you have to have something people want to share and I can’t emphasis that strongly enough. When a person clicks a share button, they’re putting their personal stamp on a piece of information. They’re telling the world, I approve of this. I think it’s interesting or helpful or funny or the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. As a marketer, it’s your job to offer up information that evokes that strong response, whatever it is, and makes people want to click and share.

Once you create that content, and give your customers an easy way to share the link, you’ve officially made them an emissary for your business and that’s better than making 1,000 cold calls. It’s better because Aunt Judy is going to ignore you if you spam her with links on Twitter, but if Cousin Sally shares a link for a site selling discount Louboutins, she’ll be right there come pay day. That’s the power of sharing.

ETA: Corrected data about Twitter from ShareThis

  • It’s incredible the amount of referral traffic that comes from sharing…and I’m glad you mentioned that sharing is a lot like putting your stamp of approval on something. I’m always blown away when people share something that is just totally out of character or something i’m surprised they would want to be associated with.