You’d expect content from a digital marketing blog such as Econsultancy to be heavily shared on social networks. But which networks do most Econsultancy readers use for sharing? And what were the most frequently shared posts in 2011?

We performed an analysis of the social visibility of the Econsultancy blog content on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and social bookmarking sites StumbleUpon and Delicious by looking at the weekly data that we collate in our social analytics database.

When we explored the spread of social networks on which the site’s content is shared, we found that Twitter seems to be by far the most important, representing more than half (54.52 per cent) of all links shared (using data we analysed for a period covering roughly the last three years).

Take a look at the breakdown underneath:

The ‘Social Spread’ for Econsultancy blog content

• Twitter – 54.52 per cent
• Stumbleupon – 28.42 per cent
• Facebook (likes, comments, shares) – 8.7 per cent
• Delicious – 6.97 per cent
• Google+ – 1.39 per cent
• LinkedIn – 0.01 per cent

Based on data from the last eight weeks, we found that the site drives around 30,900 links/shares to its content every week on the social networking and bookmarking sites included in our study. Roughly 21,100 of these weekly links are shared on Twitter, about 6,700 on StumbleUpon and about 1,500 on Delicious. Most of the remainder is from Facebook activity – shares, comments and likes. Google+ and LinkedIn seem to be generating few links currently.

Obviously a key reason why you’d want people sharing links from your site in this way is to expose a wider target audience to your content. But it’s also worth noting that SEOs try to drive social media links because they want their content seen by bloggers, in the hope that they will link back to it from their own sites to help improve search engine rankings.

Additionally, many SEOs believe that Google and Bing are starting to analyse social media links to help determine the quality of web pages and how highly they should rank in searches. In other words the quality and quantity of social links accumulated by a web page could help improve its search visibility/ranking.

Ok, so what about the most popular Econsultancy posts based on our data relating to the volume of social shares in 2011?

Here’s the top 10, according to our analysis (note the social visibility score we use to measure this is based on the total number of social links a web page has scored, while accounting for the different weightings we given to links on different social networks/bookmarking sites): 

Ten most socially visible Econsultancy posts in 2011

10 mind-blowing mobile infographics [Social Visibility = 23,654]

The ultimate guide to the Facebook Edgerank algorithm [Social Visibility = 20,091]

SEO tips for Facebook Pages [Social Visibility = 11,841]

10 amazing e-commerce infographics [Social Visibility = 10,326]

Twitter isn’t very social: study [Social Visibility = 9,456]

11 ways to measure the value of social media [Social Visibility = 8,718]

20+ Mind-blowing social media statistics: One year later [Social Visibility = 8,086]

Why do consumers abandon online purchases? [Social Visibility = 7,770]

Eight creative uses of QR codes [Social Visibility = 7,101]

10 amazing e-commerce infographics [Social Visibility =  6,592]

A quick look at the top ten confirms that posts that are essentially lists remain ever popular (six out of the top 10 are lists of one kind or another). Three are infographics – which are usually designed specifically with the aim of generating shares. Posts related to online retail/e-commerce are also popular, making up three of the top ten.

And as you’d expect, many of the same posts are also in the top five most shared posts on Twitter:  

Five most visible Econsultancy Blogs  on Twitter in 2011  

10 mind-blowing mobile infographics [Total tweets = 3,920]

The ultimate guide to the Facebook Edgerank algorithm [Total tweets = 3,003]

SEO tips for Facebook Pages [Total tweets = 1,966]
10 amazing e-commerce infographics [Total tweets = 1,701]

Twitter isn’t very social: study [Total tweets = 1,564]