Track Your Social Impact and Share Content Using AddThis

Oct 7, 2011

As we all know, one of the goals of Core Publisher is to help you create an active community on your site through your content. One of the easiest ways to use your content to drive traffic is to allow visitors to share it on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Core Publisher harnesses the power of AddThis, one of the most effective online sharing and analytic tools, to allow your users to share your content in ways that you can track.

 AddThis in action on a post from Michigan RadioEdit | Remove

You may have noticed AddThis in action on your site. On the left side of each post, under the published time and date, there are three familiar buttons – for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ – that allow users to either Share, Tweet or +1 (Google’s version of “like) your post. However, your visitors will not be simply sharing a link to you post. Each sharing option is optimized to be as effective as possible for each site.

For example, when a visitor to your site clicks on the Facebook button, they will see a pop-up that has a link to the article with an image, the article’s headline and a teaser. There is also a space for them to leave a comment that will appear above the link.

Sharing a post on Facebook using AddThis

Selecting the Twitter option opens a window that allows users to share a link to your post with the headline and your station’s Twitter handle/username. Because the link is shortened by bit.ly, the user’s tweet is re-tweetable, meaning that there is a higher chance that another user will re-publish the tweet with your link for their users to see.

Sharing a post on Twitter using AddThis

Sharing on Google+ is very similar to sharing on Facebook. Clicking on the button allows users to instantly share the link as a +1 on their page. A link to your post with the headline and teaser will also appear in the user’s +1 tab.

Sharing a post on Google+ using AddThis

AddThis, more importantly, empowers stations to be able to track and get analytics on the impact that their content has across several social media outlets with almost-real time data.

One of the many ways that AddThis displays your analytics

Similar to Google Analytics, station administrators can get reports showing the following date:

Shares: The number of times that visitors shared your content

Clicks: The number of people who came to your site from clicking on a link that someone shared

Viral Lift: The percentage that your traffic increased due to sharing and clicks

The biggest difference between AddThis and Google Analytics is time. While Google Analytics will show you your stats for the previous day, AddThis updates your stats in twenty minute increments, allowing you do you track your stats in almost-real time.

AddThis also allows stations to see recent tweets that contain links to their posts, and which posts have the highest share rate on their site.

An example of the AddThis Recent Tweets block

We also suggest that stations connect their Facebook and Twitter accounts to their AddThis account, so that you can get analytic data about how your listeners engage with your pages. To do so, click on the Facebook Page and Twitter Account options next to the Recent Tweets block.

AddThis is quite the power tool to have in your Online Presence Building tool belt. If you are not already set up with AddThis, please email us at cphelp@ds.npr.org with your station name and an email address that we can use to set up the account.