How Consumers Share Content Online

Another good one from emarketer. They outline some recent research about what channels consumers use to share information online. The main highlights are below:

  • For the April 2011 “Content is the Fuel of the Social Web” report, AOLand Nielsen Online analyzed more than 10,000 social media messages to see how consumers share content online. The study found that 93% of internet users turn to email to share content, while 89% use social networks and 82% use blogs.
  • Social networks are the top method for sharing content with friends, as 92% of users do so, while email is the most popular way to share with family (86%) and colleagues (26%). In sharing online content with the general public, consumers prefer to use message boards (51%) or blogs (41%).
  • Paul Adams, global brand experience manager at Facebook, said that the average person has four different friend or influence groups. Each has an average of 10 people and they are based around life stages, experiences or hobbies.
  • the study found that 60% of shares were links to published content, such as a news or media site. Meanwhile, 36% of shares consisted of embedded content, such as branded experiences on a social network, enabling users to share content without leaving the platform or social network.

So what does it all mean for those of you who use word-of-mouth to give and receive recommendations?

  • People choose the word-of-mouth channel that is most contextually relevant to the folks they are sharing with. Mom and Dad probably get and send emails. Younger, more tech savvy folks are more likely using Twitter or Facebook because thats where their friends are.
  • The high level take-away for RevenueNation Advocates is that you should be capable of communicating in many channels, and you should choose which based on the comfort level of the recipient. 
  • You need to be thinking: Where is your recipient most likely to see and take action on your recommendation? What medium do they prefer to receive content? 
  • While you consider the relevance of the actual recommendation, you also need to think about which channels are appropriate to who and what you are passing on via word-of-mouth marketing.