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?
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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