Great post reacting to Twitter killing their share counts, the API that tracks how many times a post has been shared online. Jason Amunwa argues that social shares are not directly related to online engagement, in fact, quite the opposite. All too often people share links without clicking on them.
Instead, Amunwa says, marketers should care about social referral, i.e traffic. Essentially, we should stop relying only on social proof and look at the bigger picture, such as conversion rates.
As an aside, it's interesting to see that in spite of Twitter dropping its share count, this blog now receives more referral traffic from Twitter than Linkedin.
We need to talk about social sharing counts. Content marketers have developed a serious addiction to them that I think is bordering on unhealthy–and I’m saying this as one of the folks on the team that created Flare, a social sharing bar app! Share counts are in danger of becoming the new Pageview, because they have the same traits as any vanity metric: They’re easily inflated, generate impressive-sounding numbers with lots of digits, and are difficult to tie to actual, meaningful engagement on the part of the visitor.