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How To Quickly and Easily Grab Social Sharing Stats

By Gary | 1st Mar 2013 | Posted in Data and Tools

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Update 5/3/2015: SharedCount now require you to use an API key with every query, so we’ve made some adjustments to the spreadsheet so that it still works. Before you can use it now, you should go to File > Make a copy… and then fill in your API key in cell B1. You can get this for free by creating a SharedCount account.

This is a very short, quick, and easy way to grab social sharing stats for URLs across Facebook likes & shares, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Google+, Delicious, and Reddit. Basically I’m just going to give you a copy of the Google spreadsheet, which should make things super quick for you. As long as you’re signed into a Google account you can make a copy for yourself (please do this) from the file menu.

There’s lots of things you might want to use this for, we often use it for quick checks of how campaigns are progressing or for research. There are also lots of other ways of doing this using social media monitoring tools, or by using each of the social network’s own APIs to grab this data. We used SharedCount because it seemed the simplest, and it handles talking to all those other official APIs itself. They’re also nice guys and don’t throttle usage at the moment (although I have included a small courtesy delay between calls anyway) and they have a nice big 100,000 query per day limit.

A few notes – every time you open the spreadsheet it will re-load all of the data. If you export it to a CSV file, it will download the pulled in share numbers so you can manipulate them further in Excel or keep them for reference. SharedCount cache queries for 5 minutes, so if you want to re-check something you need to wait at least that long. Also, the Pinterest and Reddit columns don’t seem to do much ever.

As I wrote this, I have to say: YMMV. I’m not a coder, this was knocked up for a bit of fun and has turned out to be really useful. I should also say thanks to Tom Critchlow for his various posts on using gdocs for handy stuff like this one.

If you can see ways to improve it (I’m sure there are many) please have a go, and let us know how you get on.


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9 Responses to “How To Quickly and Easily Grab Social Sharing Stats”

  1. Awesome spread sheet! Thanks so much

    • Gary says:

      Thanks Susan, I hope it’s making life easier for you!

      • Yep. I’m trying to share it with someone else through a link, but am not getting it to show the data when I publish it the web. I’m not very au fait with Google docs. Any ideas?

      • Gary says:

        If you’ve made a copy (you need to do this first, go to File > Make a copy), you should then be able to use the “Share” button that’s top right in Google Docs.

        Alternatively you can use File > Download as, and choose Comma Separated Values to get a spreadsheet you can open in Excel.

  2. Nate says:

    Hey Gary – this looks like it’s exactly what I’m looking for. But I can’t get the spreadsheet to update – does it still work? Thanks!

    • Han says:

      Hi Nate! You’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve just updated this – SharedCount now require you to use an API key (don’t worry, it’s still free.)

      If you create an account with them and grab your key, there’s now a place for you to paste it in the spreadsheet so it should work for you.

  3. Toni says:

    Hi there,
    This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the effort. I have one problem. I inserted my API key from SharedCount in B1 cell and I am receiving this error in every field:
    Request failed for returned code 401. Truncated server response: {“Error”:”API Key is invalid or not yet detected”,”Type”:”invalid_api_key”,”HTTP_Code”:401} (use muteHttpExceptions option to examine full response). (line 4, file “SharedCount”)

    Any idea?
    Thanks in advance

    • Han says:

      Hi Toni!
      That’s weird. I’ve just tried it with our account and it seems to be working ok on my end.
      Can you please make sure that you’ve done the following, in order:

      1. Double check your api key (I know, you’ve probably already done this, but humour me!) Make sure there are no erroneous spaces and/or paragraph breaks before or after, either.
      2. After you’re sure that the correct key is in B1, try refreshing the script by removing all of your URLs (you can copy them to clipboard before deleting them), wait a second or two until ‘Thinking…’ turns back to an error, and then paste them in again.

      Let me know if it doesn’t work this time around!

  4. Toni says:

    Hi Han,

    Problem was because I tried to update data for multiple urls, and probably it can not handle so much urls, it showed error. Instead I fetched data one by one url and it is working fine. Thank you


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