Shared Conversations is a new content series where industry leaders share the new and innovative approaches they are taking to connect brands, media and consumers. Recent interviews include executives from GE, Mashable, USA Today and Starcom MediaVest Group.
Tell us about the blog’s audience. What kind of traffic do you get? What posts tend to be most popular or most frequently shared on other platforms?
Our readership is predominantly folks in the media industry, ranging from agencies to publishers and developers. The most popular posts tend to be insights-driven or on topics that are fresh and unfamiliar to our readers.
You recently released an infographic displaying consumer sharing trends for the first quarter of 2014. Why do you think Twitter’s popularity is booming and email’s declining so strongly? What other demographic shifts or industry developments do you think are worth paying attention to in the coming months?
The amount of digital content people are sharing globally has increased ninefold – to nearly two trillion gigabytes – and is predicted to continue growing exponentially. Sharing is the connective thread of the social web; it is one of the most innate human behaviors, and sharing online has become second nature to consumers. As such, it has opened new markets for publishers and given advertisers greater confidence in digital media. At the same time, it has created vast opportunities for communicators to reach their audiences and engage with them in meaningful ways in addition to traditional earned and owned media.
A notable trend is that surges like Twitter’s are driven by mobile sharing, which surpassed desktop sharing in Q1 2014. Sharing on mobile devices grew 28%, which was 2.5 times faster than the growth of sharing on the desktop at 11%.
In terms of demographics, Hispanic consumers are driving growth in sharing. Compared to African American and white sharers, Hispanic consumers, who make up the fastest-growing consumer group in the U.S., shared the most on Twitter (with 42% growth) and Reddit (with 36% growth).
Most of your posts focus on major social media platforms such as Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Do you also look at other, smaller, less widely used channels for sharing information? Do you anticipate any new outlets growing in popularity?
Absolutely, more than 2.5 million web sites and mobile apps use ShareThis sharing solutions, and that number is growing. In addition, millions of consumers use ShareThis every day to share content across multiple devices and more than 120 social channels – including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and lesser known channels – which gives the company unrivaled insight into online social behavior. In fact, we were one of the first companies to track the rise of Pinterest as a viable and growing social channel.
How do you think mobile technology will continue to affect consumers’ engagement with social media? In addition to making it quicker and easier to share, will mobile devices change the social media world in any other important ways?
Digital is reshaping the communications game, but mobile has changed how consumers play. Finding, consuming, and sharing information regardless of device or channel is something that everyone in the marketing communications industry is paying close attention to and that is going to continue. In 2013, ShareThis found that the mobile web is twice as social as the desktop, meaning consumers are nearly twice as likely to click and share content on their mobile devices. The strongest growth in sharing will be propelled by this shift to a multiscreen world, where desktop and mobile experiences blend together.
Do you see ShareThis or the Shared Conversations blog expanding to include new content or features?
Yes, we look forward to expanding the blog to include shareable video content from thought leaders.
What are some of the PR opportunities you’ve worked with on Shared Conversations? How can PR professionals help you develop the blog’s content?
Our interview series is a great outlet for PR opportunities. As I mentioned above, this content explores the innovative approaches industry leaders are taking to connect brands, media and consumers. We are always open to hearing from people who are interested in participating or would like to suggest thought leaders for us to feature!