Monday, February 28, 2011

Value of Social Shares

Adding a widget such as AddThis , ShareThis and Facebook Like button on your site makes it very easy for your site visitors to share your site and content with their friends and followers via email or social media. Even though these are small widgets, that your developers/designers might not have paid much attention to, they add a tremendous value to your business.

According to a recent report by eMarketer 47.5% of the people trust the recommendations of their social media contacts. In order to leverage social sharers you have to make it easy for them to share you content and widgets like these do a good job in making your site shareable.

A small widget like this can save you thousands of dollars in customer acquisition and even retaining the customers via either direct conversions from the traffic driven by shared links or by the brand awareness that those links create.

Monetary value of Social Shares

Most of the sharing widgets have built in analytics to measure the virality of your site/content. Use the analytics report to understand how valuable those shares are. Make share analytics reporting part of your web analytics reporting so that other stakeholders can see the value too. If you need to convince your boss on why they should pay attention to these social shares, tie the value of shares to something more tangible i.e. Dollars/Pound/Euro/Rupee. Here are some of the ways you can tie the value of social shares to money:
  • Direct revenue
  • Life-time value of customer gained via social share
  • Advertising cost savings from the shares
Let’s do a simple calculation to see the value of social shares. In this example I tied the value of “Social Share” to the amount saved in paid search advertising

Example Calculation

Data that you will need:
  1. Clicks Generated– The number of click/visit/visitors generated from Social shares shares. (You might only get clicks/share from the widget analytics but you can easily estimate visits or visitors based on the data from your web analytics tool)
  2. Cost of a visit – You can estimate this from either a blended cost of all your online advertising or simply from paid search.
That’s all. Using the above information you will be able to calculate the “Cost Savings”, the cost you would have paid to drive those visits that you got for free from social shares.
Note: If you are able to tie the social sharing with your web analytics tool then you can not only get accurate count of visits (or visitors) instead of just clicks but also can get the conversions and revenue generated from those shares.

A/B Testing & Optimization
The location of you share widget will have an impact on the number of social shares you get. Social shares present a great opportunity to drive lots of valuable traffic. A/B test different locations of share widget to see how it impacts your bottom line and find the best location for those widgets.

I have attached a spreadsheet that will allow you to calculate the value of those shares and the opportunities optimization present. Just plug in some basic numbers and see the results. Download the spreadsheet from

Related post: 3 Tools for Measuring the Virality of Your Content

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  • 1 comment:

    I would like to hear your comments and questions.