ShareThis plans to release two analytics tools that allow advertisers and marketers to determine the value of content being shared across Web sites. Through both, Social Reach and Audience Index, brands have an opportunity to understand the value of social traffic.
Social Reach measures the true value of shared media across the Web by looking at inbound social traffic and outbound sharing, valuing the responder of a share as much as the sharer. The analysis aims to provide more data than buttons on Facebook, Twitter and Tweetmeme buttons that measure outbound sharing.
Audience Index measures and segments a publisher's audience by influence, so it identifies who has shared, responded and viewed content from their site. It indexes the information by category and matches it against other sites across the Web.
Some early data shows that social traffic engages consumers more than search traffic, according to ShareThis CEO Tim Schigel. "It measures the social reach and allows publishers to measure it by article," he says. "They also can index their reach from the articles on their site against the rest of the network."
Publishers can segment the data by media channel, topic, and trending topic around what's being shared. The tools -- a move in response to plumping CPMs on publisher sites -- become available following Labor Day. A few publishers have been using it for the past month.
Advertisers have begun to judge publisher's sites based on social-traffic engagement. The act of sharing a piece of content has become a key indicator of the success of a campaign, but measurement tools do not exist.
It took ShareThis since May to build the tools into the company's analytics dashboard. Both measure large amounts of data in real time across 850,000 publisher Web sites. Today, ShareThis pulls in information from about 10 billion Web pages per month. Within the next few months, that number will rocket to between 15 billion and 20 billion after several large deals are signed.
Engage author Brian Solis told a packed room at an industry event Thursday night how social media is more than a gimmick; it's rather a tool to change the experience of customers and people who influence their decisions. "If you're creating content, make sure it's not just relevant, but worth sharing," he says.
Putting a price on a piece of content being shared lets marketers manage campaign budgets to acquire traffic. People engaged in sharing on a specific topic have intent as high -- or higher -- than search traffic, Schigel says. "We're finding advertisers request this information," he says. "It was latent in our data, but we didn't expose it until they started asking for it."
Brand marketers strive to reach the top of the funnel to create a wider audience. Having this type of feedback can also drive display advertisers, which provides new insights.