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Email Trumps Social Media for Sharing

December 18, 2009

Despite reports of its demise, email continues to beat out emerging social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook as the favorite way to share information with colleagues and friends, according to a study from ShareThis.

Nearly one-half (46%) of content-sharing activity initiated comes via email, another 33% from Facebook, and 14% from other channels, such as Digg, Delicious, and LinkedIn. Only 6% of shared content comes via Twitter.

Once content is shared, however, responses among channels vary. While Twitter trails as a recipient of shared content, users tend to have higher click-through rates: 40% of clicks come from shared articles on Twitter, 35% from email and other social channels (combined), and 25% from Facebook.

User engagement by platform––what happens after a user arrives to the share destination––also varies, with Twitter the least engaging share platform:

  • Email users visit on average 2.95 pages when they click through to a site.
  • Facebook users visit 2.76 pages.
  • Twitter users visit 1.66 pages.

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  • by Andrew Mueller Fri Dec 18, 2009 via web

    While this information is very interesting, don't you think it is important to look at what percentage of what type of information is being shared on each site. Specifically, I want to know how much is going to sites like flickr where the shared info is photography, etc. Or, how much is going to YouTube and on YouTube how much is Business info vs. Entertainment. I want to know the most effective channels for sharing links to specific types of info.

  • by Ed Alexander Mon Dec 21, 2009 via web

    my intuition tells me not to be surprised that Twitter is the "least engaging" platform, while email and Facebook are higher and fairly similar in engagement.

    I am just supposing that there is a correlation between the platforms most commonly used for these media. Twitter, most likely accessed via a handheld device, would induce lower click-through engagement beyond the first rendered page, since most shared media is not optimized for small-screen browsers. The user would likely have a negative experience in clicking on a link via Twitter only to encounter a web page rife with scrollbars and bereft of alt/text labels, and therefore not wish to click through to sub-pages on that un-optimized content.

    I am just supposing. Anyone have actual experience with this?


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