BBC News is the most shared news source on Twitter, with an average of 749,974 tweets each month sharing articles, according to a survey of 150,000 articles from 10 news outlets.
The figure of three quarters of a million tweets a month represents more than half (55.9 per cent) of all the tweets with links to articles from 10 mainstream news outlets assessed in the study.
BBC News is second for Facebook sharing, behind the Mail Online, which is the most shared British media outlet on Facebook. The Mail Online has an average of 624,278 shares a month accounting for 33 per cent to 40 per cent of news stories. The Mail, which publishes the greatest number of stories of the 10 outlets, was fourth when it came to tweets, behind the BBC, Guardian and Telegraph.
The Guardian was the second most shared news source UK news outlet on Twitter, with an average of 265,145 tweets per month, and third most shared outlet on Facebook. A fifth of all tweets to the UK news organisations point to Guardian.co.uk, and quarter of all Facebook links.
The Guardian, which launched a "frictionless sharing" Facebook app in September, expects social to overtake search as a traffic driver.
Before the launch of the app Google provided 40 per cent of the Guardian’s traffic, Tanya Cordrey, director of digital development at Guardian News and Media, told the Guardian's Changing Media Summit in March, saying that the launch of the Facebook app resulted in a “seismic shift” with social exceeding search as a driver on several occasions.
Today's statistics (which can be viewed here) were compiled by Rippla.com, a site that tracks how news organisations and companies are doing on social media.
It surveyed 150,000 news stories over six months (November 2011 to May 2012) across 10 news media outlets, including the Telegraph, Sky News, the Independent and Financial Times.
The survey found that the top three - BBC News, the Guardian and Mail Online - together got six times more social media links than the rest combined.
"Social media now accounts for a huge proportion of links to news sites, from almost nothing just a few years ago," founder of Rippla.com and well-known blogger Sunny Hundal said in an email to Journalism.co.uk:
"It's interesting to see how this affects journalism, as news outlets try and do stories that get shared around, but also see who does it best and how."
Hundal said that the Daily Mail's online offering, focusing on pictures, celebrity gossip and quirky stories, lends itself well to Facebook sharing.
The Guardian, which has been focusing on its brand, has a huge, loyal audience that share stories reflecting their values, especially on social issues, Hundal added.
"When the BBC website gets nearly 250,000 referrals from Facebook every day, social media has moved beyond being a fad to a serious opportunity for news organisations and businesses alike."
Rippla.com, which launched in November, measures the social media rankings ('ripples') of thousands of news stories across several social networks. It also develops tools for companies to track how their marketing is doing on social media.