Social sharing plays a huge part in B2B and B2C businesses. If your content isn’t shared, no one sees your brand, and by extension, no one knows you exist. You become invisible and being invisible is being out of business.

Approximately 3 billion people use social media in 2018. Conclusion? Your audience is online and that’s why it’s more important than ever to understand social networks. They are the most efficient way to interact with your customers and increase your brand’s reach. But don’t fool yourself: social media is tricky and not always easy to figure out. Features, feeds, algorithms, they change all the time and newer and trendier stuff appears out of nowhere.

However, if you have a clear idea of where your content is most shared to, you can adapt your marketing strategy to increase your company’s potential reach and benefit from its results. But if you don’t really know how to measure social media sharing and need a few insights on the subject, check the following data points.

We’ve made an analysis of 110,013,562 shares over the last 90 days and analyzed where users were sharing content to. Here’s what we found:

– 71% of shares are made through copy & paste

Copy & paste happens when someone copies a link and pastes it into a private channel like messaging apps or email. This is what is called dark social. And since dark social is rising at an excruciating pace, four out of five posts are shared through private channels, it’s definitely something you should be aware. Yet, copy & paste sharing is, at times, a big problem for companies: they don’t have access this data. So, for a marketer who wants to know what kind of content has the most shares and engagement, you shouldn’t just stick with Google Analytics because, as you can see, most of your shares (71%!) are hidden in the dark. If you want to know how to track this shares and have a detailed representation of your customer’s real interests, check out this post.

– Facebook sees 320% more shares than Twitter

Facebook still is the largest social network in the world. It has 2 billion monthly active users (a quarter of the world’s population!) in comparison to Twitter’s “humble” 317 million. So, it’s no surprise that Facebook dominates Twitter on the absolute number of shares. If you have a B2B or B2C business, you should know that both networks perform great in terms of content shared and potential reach. But be aware that they are quite different: Twitter is more focused on providing real-time news and public microblogging. In fact, 75% of Twitter’s users check the site daily for news. So, if your audience likes to search for quick information or reviews and ideas, this is the place to find and target them. But don’t forget that Facebook has 2x shares than Twitter and, for a killer approach, you should use both.

– WhatsApp + Messenger + Email shares higher than Facebook

I don’t think anybody underestimates Facebook’s power and influence on the web. Zuckerberg got it right. However, many marketers forget that are some less obvious social media networks that, combined, provide as many shares as Facebook. It’s easy to understand what people are sharing on Facebook, we just look at their feeds. However, it’s almost impossible to make the same analysis for private networks, such as Email, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Yet, people tend to forget that their audience is also there. Facebook has approximately 2 billion monthly users against Whatsapp’s 1.5 billion, Messenger’s 1.3 billion and well, everyone uses email, right? So, if you have a business and are interested in gather data to make decisions, you should definitely add Facebook to your strategy because it’s a great platform for organic and paid opportunities. However, be careful not to forget that users tend to share more content on private channels like Messenger, Email and WhatsApp than they do on public ones.

– Flipboard has more shares than Google+

For the ones who don’t know Flipboard, it’s part social app and part news app. Flipboard gathers content from social networks and blogs and displays these articles and posts into a magazine format. Its users can create magazines for themselves or subscribe to the magazines of other users. Flipboard has 100 million users and 15 million magazines. According to our data, Flipboard has 0.64% of the shares, whereas Google+ only has 0.19%. This is good news for publishers since private bookmarks drive traffic to them, traffic they often see as “Direct”. If you use articles as part of your social media strategy, you should consider using Flipboard because it’s a great way to put your content out there and reach your target audience.

– 99% of shares are made in just 6 different networks

According to our data, the vast majority of shares (99%) are made through Copy & Paste, Facebook, WhatsApp, Email, Twitter and Facebook Messenger. If you want to invest in social media, you should without a doubt consider this data. Don’t try to do too much with limited time, just focus on the social networks you think are valuable for your business and that have the potential to expand your brand’s awareness. Many marketers and entrepreneurs make one huge mistake: their content is all over the place. They publish on 10 different social networks and hope to have amazing results in all of them. Less is more. So why should someone spend all that time and energy pursuing such an amount of social media networks? Not all of them will work for your business. It’s better to spend your time in the few that really add value to your brand. However, for you to know what’s working you should look everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Don’t forget private channels like Email, Messenger, and WhatsApp because they are a massive source of information to improve your business and your marketing strategy.

Here are some of the new social sharing behaviors we’ve seen in 2018 that you should be aware of. Give us your opinion about them.