Social has become the vehicle for driving readers to content. However, some publishers are better at leveraging the power of social than others. Creative agency Fractl teamed up with content marketing analytics company BuzzSumo to find out exactly which publishers were the king of the social media hill.
The study analyzed 2.6 million social media shares of one million articles by 190 of the top publishers on the top five platforms over the course of six months. Unsurprisingly, Facebook took the biggest portion of social shares — more than 80 percent — leaving the other networks to split the other 20 percent. Twitter came in second place with just over eight percent of social shares.
While it might seem natural for the biggest networks to account for the largest amount of social shares, the study suggests otherwise. Other than Facebook, network size didn’t correlate to the number of social shares. In fact, Twitter, which Pew ranked as the smallest network, had nearly four times as many social shares as LinkedIn, which was ranked as the second largest network.
The study took the analysis a little deeper to uncover the general sentiment of the shares on each of the networks. LinkedIn and Pinterest were mostly positive, Twitter and Google were 40 and 45 percent positive respectively, and Facebook skewed up to 57 percent negative.
Despite the negative sentiment of the shares on Facebook, this is more indicative of the publishers who are successful on the network rather than the outlook of the audience, according to the study.
BuzzFeed received the most shares, while the Huffington Post and CNN took second and third place. BuzzFeed was most successful on Facebook and less so on Pinterest.
Still, not every publisher was successful on every network. Mashable was among the top five most shared on three networks, while Buzzfeed and CNN ranked most shared on only two. In fact, most of the publishers averaged less than 5,000 shares per story, but Upworthy and ViralNova averaged a whopping 60,000 shares per story.
To find out how keywords impacted social shares, check out the full infographic below.