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Why sharing information is not a good indication of reading, liking, using or anything

Sharing links in social media has become one of the most sought-after behavoirs by marketers. Certainly, it can increase your exposure, but does it really establish a sustainable market for your news, products or services? Tq140327wiIt's becoming increasingly clear that people share links to make themselves look good or to become popular. So think before you promote that link!

Time.com: What You Think You Know About the Web Is Wrong, 2014-Mar-19 by Tony Haile

A widespread assumption is that the more content is liked or shared, the more engaging it must be, the more willing people are to devote their attention to it. However, the data doesn’t back that up. We looked at 10,000 socially-shared articles and found that there is no relationship whatsoever between the amount a piece of content is shared and the amount of attention an average reader will give that content.

When we combined attention and traffic to find the story that had the largest volume of total engaged time, we found that it had fewer than 100 likes and fewer than 50 tweets. Conversely, the story with the largest number of tweets got about 20% of the total engaged time that the most engaging story received.

Bottom line, measuring social sharing is great for understanding social sharing, but if you’re using that to understand which content is capturing more of someone’s attention, you’re going beyond the data.

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