How Muck Rack's social media tool lets journalists track content sharing
Here's a handy social media tool you might not be aware of: Muck Rack's Who Shared My Link feature. Simply paste any link, and it shows you how many times it was shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. There's even a button for your bookmarks bar so you can instantly see social shares for whatever page you're on.
Sara Morrison wrote about the feature last year for CJR. As Muck Rack CEO Gregory Galant told her: “Since pageviews are known only to the publishers, who usually embellish the numbers before releasing them, ‘shares’ is one of the few metrics that are public and equal across the Web.”
Muck Rack announced on Tuesday that it added the ability to generate PDF summaries of how a link performed on social media (you have to be a Muck Rack Pro member or a verified journalist to access the PDF reports — and a list of Muck Rack users who shared your link). The new PDF reports are potentially a useful way to pass the data on to a boss or coworkers, provided your newsroom doesn't already track social shares closely — and PDF attachments and shameless bragging won't annoy your boss.
More interesting is that Who Shared My Link allows you to check out your competitors' social performance, too. For instance, as of about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, The New York Times obituary for Maya Angelou was much more widely shared than The Wall Street Journal's, according to Muck Rack:
The feature is also fascinating when it comes to tracking how media organizations differ in terms of where their audiences discover content. The vast majority of people who shared BuzzFeed's story about Angelou passed it along on Facebook, while Vox's take was actually shared more frequently on Twitter than on Facebook:
It's a useful tool for social media editors (not to mention media reporters) who want an easy, one-click way to track sharing activity.