An alarming number of social media users are sharing links without actually reading the associated articles.

According to Search Engine Watch, only 41% of people who share an article actually read it. Or to restate, according to Columbia University, 59% of of all links shared on social media have never been clicked.

So while your viral post with the link back to your blog may have been shared a lot, it doesn’t mean your website received any traffic.

Two reasons this is important.

  1. If you are using social media shares to gauge website traffic of social media success, you may be measuring the wrong metrics.

  2. People are forming opinions based on the 140 characters of a tweet or short facebook summary, shaping trends blindly.

For more on this data and what it means, read “Just because they’re sharing, it doesn’t mean they’re reading” from Search Engine Watch.

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