As a proxy to measuring a user base you can tell a lot about the popularity of social networking sites by the amount of content being shared on the network. And it’s no surprise that Facebook is the dominant player, according to an AddToAny social media report, sharing content on Facebook now surpasses sharing via email.
I agree, the growing trend is for people to continue sharing more content on social networks, yet you have to view these statistics with some skepticism, and consider how sharing should fit into your business.
1) AddToAny is only one of many social sharing service widgets available. Their results are likely not representative. For instance, this does not account for the many people who copy and paste urls when sharing.
2) Important to Marketers. This study doesn’t break down the type of information being shared. There’s a high probability that people are sharing news about Michael Jackson’s death, or Youtube videos of dogs doing back flips on Facebook, and not your case studies and blog posts. Whereas you’re likely to find more of the latter being shared on LinkedIn and Twitter.
How content is shared is ultimately influenced by your audience and the type of content.
Just for comparison, my last employer had much different stats compared to AddToAny’s report. Sharing via email, took place 86% of the time, with Facebook and Twitter rounding out the top 3. Our e-commerce business catered to older, small business owners with most email sharing being products, whereas our blog content received the majority of social media network shares.
Remember, people want to share content on their own terms, so you should provide different options. But just because Facebook is popular, doesn’t mean it will be the preferred method in how people would like to share your content.