PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 6, 2011) - ShareThis, the world's largest platform for sharing and influence, today announced that it is releasing, in collaboration with Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), the most comprehensive study of online social sharing to date. Conducted by former ARF Chief Research Officer, Joel Rubinson, the study paints a picture of an online behavior that, while still unexplored and untapped by many publishers and advertisers, is shaping the way users interact with each other and with content online. This study is the first in a series of studies as part of an ongoing partnership between ShareThis and SMG.

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.

The study highlights how sharing stacks up compared to search when it comes to generating traffic for websites and brands, how people share different types of content across different types of social channels, and how sharing gives all users the ability to be influential. Specifically, the study findings include a number of takeaways important to marketers and advertisers as they explore ways to better serve, reach and engage their audiences. Some highlights include:

  • 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.

According to Jeff Flemings, SMG's SVP/Human Experience Centers, "Sharing is a critical aspect of creating meaningful human experiences today. Getting large groups of people to share content, reactions, and updates with others in their social network at scale is a marketing must, but people only share what's important to them, so it's essential to have a deep understanding of what people are sharing and why. This joint research project with ShareThis helps us understand people's sharing behavior in unprecedented depth and granularity. We will use this understanding to help brands enable sharing behavior and integrate it into human experiences."

"Sharing is core to what we do at ShareThis and we've always believed that it is one of the most important behaviors online, one that has the potential to power the larger Internet economy," said Tim Schigel, CEO of ShareThis. "We're thrilled to have conducted this first-of-its-kind study with such an influential and well respected company as SMG to provide publishers, advertisers and marketers with a deeper look at this online behavior and concretely show just how important sharing is."

"This collaboration between SMG and ShareThis produced a study that was not only the first of its kind, but the most comprehensive to date," said Joel Rubinson. "We're honored to be involved in a study of this importance that will undoubtedly provide valuable information to marketers, advertisers and publishers."

About ShareThis
ShareThis is the largest market for sharing and influence across the web, reaching more than 400 million users across nearly 1 million sites. ShareThis makes content more engaging for publishers and marketing more impactful for brands by tapping into its true influence and value. Based in Palo Alto, CA with offices in New York and Cincinnati, the company is privately held with funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Blue Chip Venture Company, DFJ Mercury, Illinois Ventures, Matthew Pritzker Company, Queen City Angels and RPM Ventures and Reservoir Partners.

About Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG)
Starcom MediaVest Group is the Human Experience Company. Our dream is to grow our clients' business by transforming human behavior through uplifting, meaningful human experiences. These brand 'experiences' are brought to life by distinct, strategic point-of-views -- Truth and Design and Space for Ideas -- created and owned by SMG's two global agency brands: MediaVest and Starcom, respectively. Ranked one of the largest brand communications groups in the world, Starcom MediaVest Group encompasses an integrated network of human experience strategists, investment specialists, content creators and digital experts and part of the Publicis Groupe [listed on the Euronext Paris Exchange -- FR0000130577 -- and part of the CAC 40 index]. With nearly 6,700 employees in 110 offices worldwide, SMG is the #1 ranked Global Media Agency (AdAge) and 2011 Media Network of the Year at the Global Festival of Media as well as the most celebrated global media network at the 2010 and 2009 Cannes International Advertising Festival.

Contact Information:

Contact Information
Corey Lewis or Aly Brady
sharethis (at) launchsquad (dot) com

Lena Petersen
Starcom MediaVest Group
lena (dot) Petersen (at) smvgroup (dot) com