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.
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."