PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire -06/06/12)- ShareThis, the world's most powerful sharing platform, today launched two tools based on the Social Quality Index (SQI) that help publishers measure and leverage the social value of their content and engagement of their readers. Last year, ShareThis unveiled the SQI, a universal measure of social activity across the Web. After testing the methodology behind the metric with its publisher and brand partners, ShareThis today rolled out benchmarking solutions -- an SQI Analytics Dashboard and SQI Lookup -- that will give publishers additional tools to develop their digital strategies and monetize their content and, in turn, deliver advertisers better insights into how to reach the most social audiences on the Web.
SQI provides publishers and advertisers with scoring insights across 27 key content categories. ShareThis has developed a patent-pending, proprietary algorithm that derives a raw social traffic score by evaluating a site's share data such as outbound shares, inbound clickback traffic and page views. The resulting figure is benchmarked against the broader measure of social quality across 1.4 million sites and more than 15 billion monthly user events across the ShareThis Publisher Network.
The new SQI Analytics Dashboard summarizes the social activity that takes place on each publisher site within the ShareThis network, including shares, clicks and traffic, assigns publishers a score on the SQI and organizes all this information in an easily digestible dashboard. The summary provides publishers with an actionable snapshot of their monthly social score across each of the 27 content categories analyzed by ShareThis. The dashboard allows publishers to track their social activity so they can better engage with their readers, optimize content using sharing insights, draw more traffic and gain more value from their existing inventory.
"Before SQI, online publishers had no standardized way to measure or leverage the value of social activity taking place on their sites," said Kurt Abrahamson, CEO, ShareThis. "As publishers look for new ways to monetize, SQI gives them the benchmark they need to optimize their content, better engage with their readers, attract new advertisers and take advantage of untapped revenue opportunities. In essence, these tools bring the vision behind the social Web and SQI to life for publishers and advertisers alike."
"We always felt using metrics like reach and audience demographics alone weren't tapping into the true value of our content," said Michael Wolfe, Publisher of The Week and Mental Floss. "Traditional measurement indicators failed to take into account a crucial element at the core of engagement: social. SQI is a simple, intuitive metric that helps us understand how our content stacks up against our competitors when it comes to social activity and attract the value we strive for."
In addition to the SQI Analytics Dashboard, SQI Lookup allows publishers, advertisers and curious minds to explore the social score of any publisher within the vast ShareThis Publisher Network. The Lookup showcases top social sites by category and helps publishers and advertisers make better business decisions.
"SQI allows us to gain actual value from the flurry of social activity that takes place on and around our site," said David Katz, Founder and CEO of ThePostGame.com, a sports and lifestyle website in the ShareThis Publisher Network that received the highest SQI score possible, a 10. "The insights provided by SQI introduce a whole new layer to our monetization and content optimization strategies that wouldn't be possible otherwise."
The SQI Analytics Dashboard and SQI Lookup allow each publisher in the ShareThis network, for the first time, to determine where their website falls across 27 content categories and from there, optimize their content based on key social data and insights. As more publishers begin to rely on these tools, advertisers can begin using this new metric to influence their media buys -- a method Starcom MediaVest Group tested with clients in late 2011.
"We teamed up with ShareThis to test SQI on a cross-section of our media buys and uncovered results that support it as a valuable media planning and buying metric," said Lisa Weinstein, President, Global Digital and Search, Starcom MediaVest Group. "The information has the potential to help us shape experiences based on content that targeted audiences want to connect with and share."
ShareThis ran two campaigns with Wendy's to determine the impact on performance of delivering campaign messages on high SQI sites. Throughout both campaigns, ShareThis delivered 30 million impressions to the same audience: the first set on non-SQI sites to determine a baseline, and the second on high-SQI sites. When SQI-targeting was introduced:
- The click-through rate exceeded the campaign average by 209%
- The volume of Wendy's menu page views increased 236%
- Wendy's store locator inquiries increased 236%
- WendyMail sign-ups increased 234%
- The results were accomplished with nearly half the average cost per menu page view (0.61x), store locator inquiry (0.59x) and WendyMail sign-up (0.62x) taking total spend into consideration
"We're talking about some impressive stats here," said Brandon Rhoten, Director of Digital Marketing at Wendy's International. "SQI helped drive the most socially relevant audiences to the custom message we developed, creating a larger impact than any other paid part of this campaign. It helped us tap into audiences we wouldn't have been able to otherwise."
For more information, please visit http://www.sharethis.com/sqi.
ShareThis is the largest market for sharing and influence across the Web, reaching more than 85 percent of the US population online across more than 1.4 million sites. ShareThis makes content more engaging for publishers and marketing more impactful for brands by tapping into its true influence and value. Based in Palo Alto, CA, the company is privately held.
About Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG)
Starcom MediaVest Group is the Human Experience Company. Our dream is to grow our clients' business by transforming human behavior through uplifting, meaningful human experiences. These brand 'experiences' are brought to life by distinct, strategic point-of-views -- Truth and Design and Space for Ideas -- created and owned by SMG's two global agency brands: MediaVest and Starcom, respectively. Ranked one of the largest brand communications groups in the world, Starcom MediaVest Group (www.smvgroup.com) encompasses an integrated network of human experience strategists, investment specialists, content creators and digital experts and part of the Publicis Groupe [listed on the Euronext Paris Exchange -- FR0000130577 -- and part of the CAC 40 index]. With nearly 6,700 employees in 110 offices worldwide, SMG is the #1 ranked Global Media Agency (AdAge) and 2011 Media Network of the Year at the Global Festival of Media as well as the most celebrated global media network at the 2010 and 2009 Cannes International Advertising Festival.
Aly Brady or Kei Hoshino Quigley
sharethis (at) launchsquad (dot) com
Starcom MediaVest Group
anita (dot) mcgorty (at) mediavestww (dot) com