A recent analysis of online sharing put together by ShareThis (of course) reveals that the act of moving content on the web from one person to another is bigger than the number of fans, friends, and followers you've amassed.
Overall, sharing comprises 31% of site referral traffic. And Facebook now accounts for 38% of all the inbound traffic driven by sharing. That’s incredible.
So, thinking about it from an audience standpoint, it’s one thing to have fans who listen a lot. But it’s another to have fans who share a lot. That wasn’t lost on us when we put together Techsurvey 7 earlier this year, and we crafted a number of questions that were designed to explore the sharing phenomenon.
So while we it's important to be focused on social networking penetration, the most popular social media destinations, engagement, and yes, the number of friends, fans, and followers that you've accrued, the value of sharing on the Internet – and how radio can best take advantage of this phenomenon - should be a key factor in understanding your audience.
The ShareThis study also suggests that there are sharing categories that cluster together, in much the same way that people like different music styles. In the case of sharing, for example, arts and entertainment correlates to video games, which provides clues for marketers about how to move content.
And ShareThis also confirms that sharing is about relevance. In fact, half of in-bound traffic comes from those who only share links from one category. In radio, you have to believe that music is a rallying point for sharing – and an area where radio can thrive in the world of recommendation and sharing. Provide the audience with music information, video, new songs, local music, and other resources, you can tap into the sharing phenomenon with your cume, and of course, your database.
From Techsurvey 7, here’s a look at the group who shares frequently – a different kind of core listener who perhaps ought to be referred to as an S1. Of those, with a social media profile (about 80% of our 20,000+ respondents), about a fifth are “serial sharers.” Women more than men, 18-34s more than 25-54s, and Alternative fans are all likelier to fall into this viral camp.
They’re in your database, some show up for your events, you might hear them on the request lines. They are worth your time to find and cultivate.
The days of searching for people with diaries and meters (a needle in a haystack to begin with) may be replaced by identifying listeners who can truly help you out – not just for a week or even a year - but in immeasurable ways that will foster great relationships and build winning brands. If your station has solid, viral assets, these S1s might be the most important listeners you have.
As the ways in which consumers communicate with one another change because of social networks and digital tools, the ways in which radio programmers and strategists view their audience should be rethought, too. Who are your real MVLs - or most Most Valuable Listeners?
I'll take the S1s any day of the week.