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Research Shows Only 2% of Social Shares Occur on Google+

23 July 2013 BY

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Last week a new report from social media measurement company Gigya revealed that social sharing on the internet is still dominated by Facebook, which accounted for half of all social sharing happening on the internet in April, May, and June of this year.

That is in itself not a big surprise. Facebook is, after all, the big boy on the social media block. What is surprising, to some at least, is the ranking beneath Facebook in terms of social sharing.

Second place for social sharing is Twitter, accounting for 24% of all shared content, followed in third place by Pinterest with 16%.

Gigya Social Sharing percentages

Despite all the hullabaloo Google makes about the membership numbers for Google+, its network is in a distant fifth place behind LinkedIn, accounting for only 2% of all social sharing.

When looking at the social logins – i.e. when offered to log in to a site using an existing profile on a social network – Google+ fares considerably better with 24% of the logins. Facebook is king there too with 52% of all social logins.

Gigya Social Login percentages

However, social logins are not a good indicator of the ‘socialness’ of a platform, as it’s mostly a shortcut for users to prevent them from having to fill in all their information again and/or having to remember a new login and password for a site.

Google’s success in social logins is likely due to the fact so many people have a Google account for Gmail or YouTube, and Google’s brand power as a trusted agent would help boost their social login percentages.

The social sharing metrics mentioned above are a better indicator of a platform’s ‘socialness’, and it’s obvious that Google is nowhere near as dominant as its self-reported activity numbers would suggest. A social login is, in my opinion, not a genuine ‘activity’ on a social network, but Google does seem to be counting these in its Google+ user figures.

I know many digital marketers and technologists still consider Google+ to be a great social network, as they use it to share content and engage with their circles. However, their own experiences do not translate to the general audience. Google+ is primarily the stomping grounds of this self-selected demographic of technology geeks and digital marketers, and the vast majority of daily social media users will scarcely be aware of its existence.

Whether or not Google is bothered by the lack of social sharing is debatable, and depends on whether Google+ was really intended as a Facebook contender or as something else entirely. Those social logins are probably exactly what Google was after in the first place…

AUTHORED BY:
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Barry Adams is one of the editors of State of Digital and is an award-winning SEO consultant based in Belfast, delivering specialised SEO services to clients across Europe.

16 Responses to “Research Shows Only 2% of Social Shares Occur on Google+”

  1. Stephen Kenwright says:

    Interesting stuff Barry – assuming it counts a +1 the same as actually reposting an article on Google+ for shares? People are much more likely to do the former than the latter…

    • Barry Adams says:

      Agreed Stephen, the +1 button – as the Like button – seems a much lower threshold option than actually sharing the content. And I imagine, given the terminology used, that Gigya is referring to actual sharing of content in their research.

      Still, I reckon that if you include the +1s and the facebook Likes as well, it won’t be a very different pie chart.

      • Stephen Kenwright says:

        No absolutely. To be fair it’s pretty rare that I give anything a +1 anyway, and I’d consider myself to be “on” Google+. I think the most surprising thing for me is the share that Pinterest has, catching up to Twitter.

  2. Stephen Kenwright says:

    Interesting stuff Barry – assuming it counts a +1 the same as actually reposting an article on Google+ for shares? People are much more likely to do the former than the latter…

    • Barry Adams says:

      Agreed Stephen, the +1 button – as the Like button – seems a much lower threshold option than actually sharing the content. And I imagine, given the terminology used, that Gigya is referring to actual sharing of content in their research.

      Still, I reckon that if you include the +1s and the facebook Likes as well, it won’t be a very different pie chart.

      • Stephen Kenwright says:

        No absolutely. To be fair it’s pretty rare that I give anything a +1 anyway, and I’d consider myself to be “on” Google+. I think the most surprising thing for me is the share that Pinterest has, catching up to Twitter.

  3. [...] Post from Barry Adams on State of Search Research Shows Only 2% of Social Shares Occur on Google+ [...]

  4. Nial Toner says:

    Interesting to see that this particular post has been shared more on Google+ than any other channel (at time of writing). Perhaps the Google+ police are out to get you Barry :-)

    I do suspect though this is more to do with the type of reader of this post being Google+ users. For brands, Google+ just isn’t a viable marketing channel at the minute and probably why so many tend to avoid it.

  5. Nial Toner says:

    Interesting to see that this particular post has been shared more on Google+ than any other channel (at time of writing). Perhaps the Google+ police are out to get you Barry :-)

    I do suspect though this is more to do with the type of reader of this post being Google+ users. For brands, Google+ just isn’t a viable marketing channel at the minute and probably why so many tend to avoid it.

  6. [...] seen a few ‘complaints’ by marketers of late. Barry right here on State of Search just yesterday ‘complained’ about Google+ and somewhere else on the web a big newspaper site decided to run a not so well written (hence not [...]

  7. [...] seen a few ‘complaints’ by marketers of late. Barry right here on State of Search just yesterday ‘complained’ about Google+ and somewhere else on the web a big newspaper site decided to run a not so well written (hence not [...]

  8. [...] Study: Google+ Only Gets Two Percent of Social Shares – In a recent study by Gigya, a social media measurement company, they found that Facebook still gets the lion share of social shares with fifty percent of sharing happening through their network. Twitter is at twenty-four percent, while Pinterest is at sixteen percent. Google+ at two percent, is at the tail end of the pack, having less social shares than LinkedIn at three percent. [...]

  9. [...] State of Search: Research Shows Only 2% of Social Shares Occur on Google+ [...]

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