My friend Jason Keath at Social Fresh offered up some interesting statistics from Shareaholic this week on a blog post entitled, When Is The Best Time Of Day To Blog. Like similar data that has been shared elsewhere on best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook and the like, this information is interesting, but I maintain my concern that people will read far too much into it and alter their marketing plans, perhaps at their own peril.

Remember that none of Shareaholic’s data is relevant to your business, your market, your competitors, your audience. It’s a broad swath of aggregated user data from a tool that allows people to share a piece of content across social networks, much like ShareThis, AddThis and other share widgets. There’s no distinguishing factors that make that information relevant to your specific business. Therefore, it’s interesting, but useless unless or until you take it as inspiration and test your own share data to see what is most effective for you.

I’m concerned about this type of data, largely because there’s absolutely no content analysis done to inform it. I’m glad Jason indicated early on in his post that people need to test their own blog content to see what works best for their audience, but we’re also missing so many possibilities as to why these numbers are what they are, or, as Tom Webster pointed out in our discussion on data this week, do they matter at all?

Best Days For Blog Pageviews
Two takeaways I got from Shareaholic’s charts: Nothing is ever read on Friday. Which I know is complete bunk. And people share more on Thursdays, but shockingly few people actually read what is shared. Also complete bunk.

More importantly, though, does day of the week or time of day even matter? We don’t know because we didn’t first see if the critical success factor was something different … like quality of the content. Do how to trim  your nails posts get more shares than top 10 ways to dance like Beyonce posts? Do business related posts drive more page views than fart joke compilations.

I would argue that while there might be opportune times and days to reach more audience members, time of day is less important than quality of content for both social sharing and page views. So, let’s take these numbers with a grain of salt and realize there’s a lot more insight and investigation that needs to take place before we start scheduling all our blog posts for Thursdays … when people share but don’t read. ;-)

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://socialfreshacademy.com/ Jason Keath

    I was going to read this, but I probably can’t get to it until Monday. = )

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Touche’! Heh.

  • Alin Vlad

    Ha, and i just published my first ever blog post: http://blog.bullguard.com/2012/01/7-steps-to-bulletproof-your-facebook-account.html :)

    P.S. I’m not reading this now…

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  • http://www.grace-cheung.com/blog Grace Cheung

    I rarely pay attention to the “Best Time of Day to…” variety of “studies” primarily for the reason you listed: it’s a “broad swath of aggregated data.”  Even just comparing the content consumption patterns between B2C & B2B consumers will yield varying results. Companies need to conduct tests on their own content & their own audience to help guide their marketing decisions.

    Honestly, I don’t think it matters. If you understand your audience & you have a clear objective for the content (i.e. you know what you want your readers to take away from your writing), it doesn’t really matter what time of day you blog. Some people read blog posts when they get email notifications. Some people read them in their RSS readers at any time of the day. Some people read blogs their colleagues pass along. Some people read blogs on topics they searched on Google. It really varies, so it might be worth it to test.  One thing to keep in mind is that testing might not always yield conclusive results.

  • http://www.thismamacooks.com/ Anne-Marie Nichols

    Best time of day/week really depends on your readers. My readers tend to drop off at the starting on Wednesday or Thursday. Like the busy moms they are, I figure they’re swamped with work and family, and don’t have the time to stop by. However my traffic starts to pick up during the weekend and is at its highest at the beginning of the week. Why? My guess is that busy moms have time to read blogs and are planning menus, looking for recipe ideas and coupons during the weekend and using that content to menu plan and cook/shop Sun-Tues.

    To create more traffic for myself during the end of the week lag, I post giveaways at the end of the week – things that get a bit more traffic than just another recipe.

  • http://twitter.com/gdieboss SingSiang Tan

    hi , I am a blog novice
    this is my blog url 
    http://tw.domain.business-management-marketing.com/

  • Chipo

    More research needs to be done into the why and what people prefer to read at certain times of the week or day.As you rightly say, the content and many other factors influence what people will read. There is so much information that is bombarding people every day that time and  relevance are major issues.

  • Chipo

    More research needs to be done into the why and what people prefer to read at certain times of the week or day.As you rightly say, the content and many other factors influence what people will read. There is so much information that is bombarding people every day that time and  relevance are major issues.

  • http://jonloomer.com/ Jon Loomer

    “Nothing is ever read on Friday. Which I know is complete bunk.”

    First, agreed. My two best days of the week tend to be Mondays and Fridays. So, to not even list Friday supports exactly what you’re saying. That data is true for some, but certainly shouldn’t be used to adjust your own marketing.

    Second, nice usage of the word “bunk.” Freaking love that word.

    • http://twitter.com/JanetAronica Janet Aronica

      (Accidently placed this up above… phones! ;D) 
      Hey Jon, Love the word “bunk” too haha. So important to note that this is a breakdown of the top 100 days of sharing per pageviews and social shares from 2011. So not to say that no one reads on Fridays. Of course people read on Fridays. But of those 100 days, not one of those days was a Friday. Make sense? Thanks for taking a look at this! – Janet from Shareaholic

  • Anonymous

    Hey Jason,

    Thanks so much for the writeup! I appreciate your attention to detail on data and smart analysis. It is important to note that our data is from a global network of more than 200k publishers that reach more than 250m readers. This is a significant data set. So while I strongly encourage people check out their own stats (which they can do in Shareaholic and GA) I wouldn’t go so far as to say these findings mean nothing to one’s business. If nothing else, it is inspiration to dig in and measure your own sharing, and that result is important in and of itself :)

    Thanks again for this writeup! Always learn something over here on SME.

    Janet Aronica
    Head of Marketing
    Shareaholic

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Hey Janet. Not sure I knew you wer with Shareaholic. Good on ya. 

      The inspiration to dig in and measure your own sharing is certainly the value here, but remember that small businesses and busy marketers of large businesses are often looking for the easy button, even if it doesn’t exist. Therefore, seeing data like this, instead of thinking, “Oh, I should do this kind of test on my data,” they just say .. Hell. Guess I’d better not post on Friday. 

      In that regard, this data doesn’t mean anything to the business. The inspiration to test has to more obvious to them. It’s not Shareaholic’s fault marketers don’t use the data in the right spirit, of course, but the sad fact is that people looking for quick solutions will take this type of chart and graph research as Gospel and use it, often to their detriment.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Jon,

    Love the word “bunk” too haha. So important to note that this is a breakdown of the top 100 days of sharing per pageviews and social shares from 2011. So not to say that no one reads on Fridays. Of course people read on Fridays. But of those 100 days, not one of those days was a Friday. Make sense?

    Thanks for taking a look at this!

    – Janet from Shareaholic

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