• Are Benchmarks Really Providing Useful Information?

    by  • 29 April 2014 • social media • 0 Comments

    by Michael J Procopio

    followerwonk-my-traffic-times.jpgI was reading this article, which I recommend you read Content – Blog Best-Practices and Benchmarks : MarketingProfs Article.

    But I want to point out what I consider flaws in the research so you’ll know what to look out for as you read other reports.

    The problem this report has is typical in reporting on blog in specific and social media in general -we have no way to some of the information to make what we have truly accurate and useful.

    Here the first example, the subtitle reads:

    The best days and times to post

    The first question is what does the author mean by best? Two things immediately come to mind for me. One is getting the most views/reads. The other is getting the most engagement. Neither is answered. Best, as represented by the data, is what everyone else does. Which is great if everyone else is doing the right thing, but that’s unlikely given the results.

    There is no data about blog views, so that’s out. There is data on social shares but it is unclear if the social sharing data for a given day or time is based on blogs published on that day or at that time.

    This same problem shows up in the time of day posting. An additional problem is the timezone was not mentioned just that the study was done in the US. When referencing one hour peaks the timezone becomes important.

    Another problem is not have time of day, day of week data. Sat seems a great day to post to get social shares, but my guess is people read blogs at different times on the weekend than they do during the week. The time of day chart shows 10 pm as a peak. I’m not convinced that’s true for the weekends, but it is very plausible during the workweek.

    On the positive side

    The report does have some valuable data like:

    • posts with title length between 40 and 60 characters did the best with social sharing
    • posts on Sat were very far ahead of average on social sharing
    • the 5% of posts that had a question mark in the title got twice the number of shares
    • the shocker for me only 0.4% of the shares were on LinkedIn, Twitter held the lead with Facebook a close second


    I hope the full report has more data and someone will share it. But as it sits Sat seems the best days to post, for social sharing, followed by Sunday. Sat and Sunday have the added value of less competition for readers. Tues, Wed, Thur seem to be in a tie. Post early morning, 4 am, or late evening, 9 pm seem to get the most social sharing.

    The real point is be careful when reading reports so you know what you are really getting.

    Cover: 42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing


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