In a result that will come as a surprise to devotees of Twitter and other social sharing tools, a recent New York Times study found that e-mail remains the most popular tool for sharing Internet content.
Specifically, in an online survey of 2,500 self-identified "medium-to-heavy content sharers," respondents said they often preferred email for sharing content because they viewed email as more secure and private and therefore more "personal." Apparently, email is used when people want to have a more intimate, one-to-one conversation about news they find compelling instead of a one-to-many interaction. Respondents also noted that a post can get lost in the shuffle of a Twitter or Facebook stream, but content shared via e-mail definitely will get seen and thus more likely elicit a response.
Legal marketers should keep this insight in mind when adding "sharing" functions to law firm email alerts and newsletters such as "forward to a friend" (which employs email as the sharing mechanism) and social sharing icons.
Separately, the study garnered some interesting insights into the psychology of social sharing with respondents disclosing their motivations for sharing content across various media:
- 75 percent said sharing helps them better understand and “process” the news they’re interested in;
- 94 percent share because they think a link would be helpful to another user
- 68 percent share as an advertisement for themselves, to give others a better sense of who they are.
- 78 percent use links to stay connected to people they may not otherwise be in touch with.
- 73 percent say sharing helps them find people with common interests.
Click here to read more about the study on PaidContent.