How We Share Socially: Latest Social Usage Trends

According to the latest Q3 2014 social users sharing trends and usage report from Sharethis:
  • Peak Social Sharing & Engagement: Shares surrounding events are 5x more likely to draw clickbacks within 24 hours. 
  • Social Sharing Channel Usage: Social Channel usage varies greatly based on the type of event. Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit have proven themselves to be major forums for discussion around events. Twitter–with its real-time feed and active user base–spikes by 2x around sports and entertainment events. News and politics, it seems, are topics best left to Reddit, where in-depth discussion and analysis are encouraged. Major events cause swings in channel usage. Facebook seems to be the dominant platform to discuss major updates in the weeks surrounding a major event, commanding 85% of activity within a 2-3 week period (31% more than usual). However, Twitter and Reddit are the more reactive channels – within 2-3 days of an event, Twitter activity jumps by 3x.
  • Social Sharing Device Usage: The same goes for device usage. Entertainment and culture events are far more active on mobile, while news & politics are more often discussed on desktops. Mobile activity jumps during events to represent 72% of total sharing (33% more than average) as users are more likely to socialize unexpected content on the go. For broadcast events–like Shark Week and the NFL season opener–we also found a 2x spike in tablet sharing. This was especially true around the time of the event itself–peak hours for tablet sharing were between 8pm and 10pm, providing a certain level of credence to the concept of the “Second Screen.”
  • Social Sharing By Type of Social Users / Audience: Significant variances in sharing activity existed between every event. International crises (like the ongoing threat of ISIS in the middle east) drew more sharing from older, male audiences. On the other hand, the Ferguson unrest was generally younger and more likely to be female. Burning Man, it seems, generated a lot of social buzz from older, higher income audiences. The one exception to this observation was that younger audiences tend to be the first to react. For the most part, sharing lift increased with age group, especially within days of an event. In the first 24 hours after an event, users 18-25 were 2.1x more likely to share. After 1-2 weeks, however, the conversation was picked up by older audiences, with users 55 and over being 50% more likely share.
  • Social Sharing Location Usage: Event sharing is highly localized, more so than other types of sharing. In the days and weeks around major events, sharing activity skews significantly toward the states in which these events are taking place. The Napa earthquake caused a 5x surge in activity in California, with sharing lifts rippling out to 2-3x in neighboring states. Similar effects took place in Missouri after the Ferguson riots, as well as in Washington and Wisconsin when their home teams kicked off the NFL season.
Here are slides from the event for reference