Anyone with a social marketing strategy can relate to planning out when, where and how to share content in order to increase brand awareness, engagement and traffic. While many best practices are old news, my mind was recently blown by a new report released by TrackMaven. Their Colossal Content Marketing Report provides business owners and marketers with new insight and tips for building a successful content and social strategy.
In their research, TrackMaven analyzed 1.2 million blog posts from over 4,618 blogs, which resulted in two billion social shares. Outlined below are some of the most interesting and unexpected takeaways from the report.
WHEN to Post
We’ve been told for some time now that Tuesday and Wednesday are the most popular days of the week to publish blogs, specifically during business hours (9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). Blog publishing peaks between 11 a.m. and noon, so one may assume that this may also be a peak time for social sharing.
However, TrackMaven’s research found that blogs posted on Saturdays and Sundays actually receive the highest engagement on social networks (18% and 14.6% of all social shares, respectively). The expected Tuesday and Wednesday were tied for third place for best days for social sharing with 14.1%.
As far as time of day goes, the most social shares are actually awarded to content published between 9:00 p.m. and midnight. Although I was a little surprised by this at first, it makes perfect sense. I have spent many evenings on my couch, surfing the web and sharing what I find interesting. During business hours people may only have time to glance at their feeds and skim through content, but at night they’re able to sit back and read leisurely, therefore making them more likely to share the content.
WHERE to Post
It was no surprise that Facebook and Twitter came in as the top two social networks for content engagement- but they are also the largest, which skews the numbers a bit.
A good marketer understands that it’s not worth wasting energy being active on every social network- just the ones that are relevant to the brand. It’s important to identify what you are trying to accomplish and where your target audience is. While Facebook and Twitter can be good for many things, LinkedIn happens to be great for B2B marketing. Houzz is amazing for anything related to home design and décor. The list goes on.
HOW to Post
Presentation plays a huge role into whether your content will be shared or not. Here are a few pointers on how to make it happen:
• Keep titles short and sweet- the report found that titles with around 60 characters got the most social shares. A sharp decline was seen as the characters increased.
• Make the title a question, but with only one question mark. Titles with a question mark accounted for a small number of blog posts in the study, but the social shares for these interrogative titles was almost double of those without. Make sure not to add more than one question mark though, as that caused engagement to go way down. (Does this mean I’m not the only one who thinks multiple question marks is annoying?????)
• Don’t hold back on exclamation points—the more, the better!!!!! Forget what you just read when it comes to exclamation points, as apparently big excitement is share-worthy. While titles with one exclamation point were barely shared, the few that had four (less than 0.1%) received over 2,000 shares on average.
Seriously? Seriously!!!! (Do you see what I just did there?)
Check out TrackMaven’s full report here.