Social Sharing Reaches Peak Within 24 Hours of Major Events [Study]


Yuyu Chen

A new report from ShareThis shows that consumer engagement on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit is highest in the days surrounding big events.

Consumer engagement (particularly from the highly coveted Millennial demographic) on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit reaches its peak within 24 hours of major events, according to ShareThis, so marketers need to be prepared to act fast to capitalize on the opportunity.

In its Q3 2014 Consumer Sharing Trends Report, ShareThis analyzed the sharing behavior of more than 450 million unique users across 2.5 million sites and apps. It found that within 24 hours of major news or media events, shares surrounding these events drew 186 clickbacks, five times more than the average of 83 clickbacks.

From the report, it’s easy to see that Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit have become the primary social platforms for discussion about major events, with each seeing engagement about different topics. For example, entertainment events are shared about more often on Facebook, while sporting events like the NFL kickoff are most shared on Twitter. The news and politics category, in contrast, sees 2.6 times more sharing activity on Reddit.


While Facebook seems to play host to major updates within two or three weeks of the events, representing 85 percent of sharing activity, Twitter and Reddit are more reactive – within two to three days of an event, Twitter activity increases by three times.

Commenting on the findings, Kurt Abrahamson, chief executive (CEO) of ShareThis, says that it’s important for markers to be aware of the differences in sharing behavior across social channels.

“Facebook is a place for general discussion, usually surrounding entertainment and culture. However, the Twitter and Reddit news feeds are far more reactive, rewarding quick turnarounds in conversation. Brands looking to reach consumers at the height of engagement should turn their attention toward those channels,” Abrahamson notes.

When it comes to devices, mobile has become a major driver of timely engagement, according to the report. During the week before and after an event, mobile devices drive 72 percent of total sharing, 33 percent more than average. And even more so within 24 hours surrounding a major event, when 85 percent of sharing activity occurs on mobile.


In addition, sharing activity around broadcast events like the NFL kickoff more than doubled on tablets.

These findings, says Abrahamson, present a big opportunity for marketers considering real-time marketing. “Handheld devices present a unique opportunity to reach consumers at the most critical moments of engagement,” he explains. “Paired with geo-fencing and dayparting data, mobile targeting can be used to deliver relevant content and media when consumers are in stores, or watching their favorite shows.”

Aside from this, ShareThis found that event sharing has a “ripple effect,” where sharing is not always directly related to the event itself. For instance, during Shark Week, sharing around animal and nature categories increased as a whole.