Measure and understand social media connections and sharing

Enter two new tools from ShareThis, which should help brands work out how their content is being shared and which consumers are doing the sharing.

First, Audience Index. This tool helps brands to compare the influence of bloggers or social profiles compared to the influence of other websites or content portals in the segment. This should help brands determine where they are connecting well, and where they are not.

Everyone has heard the old maxim “know your audience”. Until now, publishers may have known their demographic composition or “intent” profiles, but they didn’t know how their most valuable users – their influencers – compared to the rest of the Web. Audience Index changes all that by letting publishers:

  • Understand and compare their social audiences against 850,000 other sites across the web and soon, against your own category (your site against sport) and size of site (your site against other small blogs).
  • Find out what types of influencers – say fitness or music – your site attracts.
  • Find out how well you connect with influencers, listeners and engaged consumers.

Second, the Social Reach tool, which analyses how content or information about a brand’s product is being shared. Attaching analytics to the shared content gives brands the ability to measure the worth of the circulation of a piece of content.

ShareThis, home of Audience Index and Social Reach

ShareThis recently surveyed publishers (theirs and others) and found that over 60% wanted (and were missing) social referral analytics. Social Reach measures the true value of shared media across the Web by looking at outbound-sharing and inbound social traffic and, in the process, gives proper credit to the listener/responder of a share as much as the original influencer/sharer.

Publishers can now get a more accurate measurement of how a piece of content circulates around the Web after it’s been shared across any service, rather than just the simple number of shares counted by a single service like Facebook.

“It’s becoming absolutely essential that online publishers are able to accurately measure, optimise and value the sharing and social habits of their audience,” was written on the ShareThis blog.

According to the latest data from Experian/Hitwise, Facebook is still the leader in the social network wars with more than 59% of visits for the week ending August 21, 2010. YouTube (16% of visits) and MySpace (8% of visits) were Facebook’s closest competitors. Twitter still only captures about 1% of social visits.

Facebook seems, for now at least, to have a lock on the social space.  The social site surpassed Google as the most visited website a few weeks ago and for this reporting period remains in the number one position with just over 9.8% of all online visits.

‘Facebook’ and ‘facebook login’ are the two leading search terms for the same period, with more than 15% of searches divided between the two terms. Facebook is also pushing about 11.24% of upstream clicks; only Google (19.2% of upstream clicks) leads the social site.

Tools like Social Reach and Audience Index will help brands harness the power of the social world.


About Jeremy
Digital marketing leader, blogger and speaker. Married with three adult children. Likes activities and sport not affected by weather.

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