Finserv Content Sharing: ShareThis Study Quantifies What’s Going On

So, a friend emailed me about a study she thought I’d have some interest in. Yep, and I think you will, too—so much so that you’ll overlook the fact that I just blogged about sharing and Facebook last Tuesday.

This just-released ShareThis study provides numbers and gets even more granular about the types of content being shared, by whom, when and where.

Finance content produces no less than 68 million monthly social signals shared by more than 32 million monthly users, according to ShareThis’ three-month study (August to November 2014) of its network of 3.1 million sites and apps.

“Our findings revealed not only that finance is, in fact, a highly social topic but one with fascinating behavioral nuances, clear seasonal trends and favorable life stage alignment,” according to the ShareThis blog post.

One caveat: ShareThis’ numbers include real estate and accounting, which aren’t typically included in finance. Credit cards and currencies and foreign exchange topics lead the sharing, effectively propping up the numbers. That’s OK, the detail provided gets to the categories that the asset management industry most cares about—investing, funds, retirement and pension, financial planning and asset and portfolio management.

Tablets, Cyclicality, Life Stage

The entire study is embedded below so I’ll just extract a few ShareThis highlights here followed by the relevant page number in the deck. Two graphics in this post are from a separate ShareThis deck on Scribd

  • Different social networks house entirely different conversations for finance consumers (see above and page 5).
  • Tablets are a finance-friendly platform, generating twice as much sharing activity around finance as other content categories. Booyah! (See page 6.)
  • See how the data on page 11 links the type of activity (searching and browsing or socializing) and the focus.
  • Sharing follows a consistent pattern, peaking in the beginning of the week.

  • Social volume spikes around key time periods like tax season and quarterly earnings. Activity often preempts or mirrors market events (page 8-9).
  • Finance sharing is aligned with life stage. “Often we found that sharing skews toward the extremes. For example, millennials and early boomers are 1.9x and 1.5x more likely, respectively, to share about finance.”
  • Financial planning social activity heats up April to August and then soars in December (see page 20). 

Update: As much as I appreciate the heads-up about this work and was thrilled to see it, as of this writing my head is still intact. How about yours?