The fact that people are sharing a lot on social networking and microblogging sites is no news now, but what is definitely interesting and noteworthy is the trend in sharing as well as the engagement pattern within different types of share traffic.
A recent report by Share This reveals some statistics on traffic as well as social engagement due to sharing. Here are the key findings of the report:
- Sharing is increasing, on an aggregate level sharing is now accounting for as much as one-third of the amount of traffic driven by search, which is most often the top source of traffic for sites.
- Traffic coming through shared links has high engagement value. When compared to search, sites are seeing up to 50 percent more engagement from sharing, i.e., share-originated links are driving up to 50 percent more page views per unique than search
- As per the report, 46 percent of shares came via e-mail, 33 percent from Facebook, 14 percent from other channels such as Digg, del.icio.us, LinkedIn, etc., & 6 percent from Twitter.
- Though Twitter is still far behind as far as share traffic is concerned but click through rate wise it does score the highest. 40 percent of clicks come from shared articles on Twitter, 35 percent of clicks from email and other social channels, and 25 percent of clicks come from Facebook.
- Twitter is the least engaging share platform with users visiting an average of 1.66 pages when they click through to a site, while users coming in off e-mail were the most engaged, visiting 2.95 pages, and Facebook trailing closely behind 2.76 page views. These figures vary for sites depending upon their verticals.
Well, the fact that Facebook sends higher share traffic than Twitter is quite understandable as Facebook’s overall population is also far more than Twitter, but e-mail still being the most popular sharing medium is bit surprising.
Also I’m wondering if tiny or masked URLs with constricted explanation are the reasons for high CTR in case of Twitter as against Facebook where a viewer gets to read some summary of the shared link. High engagement quotient of email share traffic is obvious enough; in this age of email bombardment nobody will actually click a link shared in an email unless really interested in that content.
Though this report is based on only 125,000+ sites covered in Share This’s network but nevertheless it does give some insights into sharing patterns of different social platforms. But what would be more interesting is to get deeper understanding of such patterns based on the vertical and content type of the sites along with statistics on type of link being clicked through each medium.