When, where, and how social media users share [INFOGRAPHIC]

When are social media users most active? What time of day, what day of the week? When do most people click a link? What are the fastest growing social media sites of all time? Of the last year?

Social bookmarking service AddThis, in celebration of its fifth birthday, published an awesome infographic that answers all these questions and more. Naturally, this isn’t the ultimate and final resource on social media sharing—will that ever exist?—but it’s definitely a start. Over the last five years, AddThis has tracked 1.2 billion users across 10 million domains in 70 languages, making for a mountain of data to work with.

Some highlights:

  • When it comes to sharing, peak hour is 9:30am EST and peak day is Wednesday. This is a double-edged sword for marketers. While sharing at those times might be critical to spreading a message or piece of content virally, you’ll be competing with such a massive influx of content from other users that you risk getting lost in the stream.
  • Among social media services, Twitter has experienced the sharpest growth over the years in terms of shares percentage. Trailing Twitter are all the usual suspects: Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and Tumblr. It’s been said time and time again, but the most efficient marketer will use a variety of services in a variety of ways. Sharing on just one network isn’t very efficient.
  • Up to 10x more sharing happens via copy paste. Not “Tweet” buttons or “Like” buttons or anything of that sort. The traditional act of copying a URL from the address bar and pasting it into an email or IM chat is still the preferred way for people to share content with each other.

Scroll through the infographic below for some incredible data – like, “We process more data in one week than the Hubble Telescope collected in its first 20 years.” Wow!

Back in May, our in-house data guru Greg Kroleski wrote a great article entitled “Avoiding the “cricket chirp” post: Three factors to optimize social media engagement,” which delves into the many nuances of sharing across multiple networks and for multiple audiences. For successful sharing, users must be mindful of the kind of content they’re sharing, the timing of their posts, and much more.

There’s always more data available on this subject, so check back here regularly for new insights.

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