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Aug
18

10 Pieces of Social Media Data You Should Pay Attention To

by Zach Welch on August 18, 2014
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The amount of data and research on social media grows and changes as fast as the websites it measures. Fast Company weeded through the numerous studies and compiled the following social media data that is slightly off the beaten path.

Don’t worry, this isn’t just a number dump. Learn how you can put this research to use for your brand’s social media strategies.

1. Your biggest advocates have the fewest followers.

It’s time to squash any grandiose ideas that the majority of your brand’s mentions will come from celebrities and influencers. In fact, few will. Social monitoring website Mention analyzed over 1 billion social mentions from the past two years, and in their analysis they found that 91% of mentions come from people with fewer than 500 followers.

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What you can do with this stat: It may not be a smart idea to prioritize social media power users, however it’s also important to respond to those with fewer followers since they are your biggest brand advocates.

2. Twitter has 6 distinct communication networks.

The Pew Research Center and the Social Media Research Foundation combined on a report that analyzed thousands of Twitter conversations to come up with six distinct communication networks. Which of these six do you most closely identify with?

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What you can do with this stat: Tight crowds and community clusters seem like apt groupings for brands interested in a lot of engagement. If your social media channels are also part of your customer service strategy (which they should be), then support networks can also be a type of communication network for you. Analyze where you fit into these networks, and adjust your strategy as necessary to mix with another group.

3. Marketers say written trumps visual content.

Social Media Examiner’s annual survey of nearly 3,000 marketers leads to a ton of insights into how marketers think about social media and sharing. Over half of marketers (58%) claim written content is their most important form of social content. Visual content came in second (19%.)

What you can do with this stat: Written content provides the best method to establish your brand as an expert or thought-leader in your industry, more so than an eye-catching photo alone can.

Question: Do you agree with this stat? We’d love to know your thoughts! What has the data shown you?

4. You have less than an hour to respond on Twitter.

Consumers expect a lot from you on Twitter, as recent research by Lithium Technologies confirms. The real-time nature of Twitter has led to incredible expectations. According to Lithium, 53% of users who tweet at a brand expect a response within the hour. The percentage increases to 72% for those with a complaint.

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What you can do with this stat: Unless you want to constantly monitor your email for Twitter notifications, you might want to invest in software to stay on top of your customer support tweets.

5. Late night is the best time for retweets.

TrackMaven analyzed over 1.7 million tweets to come up with data behind the best practices for earning a retweet. The best time of day to tweet for a retweet? After-hours, between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. ET.

This advice follows the Late-Night Infomercial Effect; by sharing your content when the volume is lowest, it will have a greater chance to stand out.

What you can do with this data: Test this theory out on your own and see what results you get.

6. Fridays are Facebook’s best day for engagement.

The Social Intelligence Report from Adobe analyzed over 225 billion Facebook posts from the past two years to come up with some data-backed recommendations for Facebook marketers. Their research on the best day to post pointed to a clear winner: Fridays, which receive more comments, likes, and shares than any other day of the week.

What you can do with this stat: There are hundreds of articles out there telling you which day or time is the best to post on different networks. Every brand’s followers may be checking their social networks at different times, so the best way to find out if this works for you is to test it and see. If you notice that Fridays are in fact a day with higher engagement for your brand, consider saving your best content for the end of the week.

7. Photos drive engagement on Facebook.

According to Social Bakers, 87% of a Facebook page’s interactions happen on photo posts. No other content type receives more than 4% of interactions.

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What you can do with this stat: This may be a no-brainer: Post more photos on Facebook. But not just any photos will do. Select photos and graphics that help tell your story in an interesting way.

8. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest drive the most traffic.

Social sharing site Shareaholic revealed an interesting split in the way that social media sites refer traffic back to a website. Turns out, the data points to social being a source of either quantity or quality.

Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest may have driven the most traffic, but YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn ranked highest in terms of time spent on page and bounce rate.

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What you can do with this stat: It’s important to have a diverse social media strategy and to be present and active on multiple networks.

9. Aim for 28, 118, or 385 interactions per post (it depends on your total fans)

Earlier this year, Social Bakers analyzed more than 40,000 pages to see exactly where the average engagement lies for pages of all sizes. Pages with 1 to 9,999 fans: 28 interactions per post 10,000 to 99,999 fans: 118 interactions per post.100,000 to 499,999 fans: 385 interactions per post.

What you can do with this stat: Use it as a benchmark to measure your Facebook page’s success. However, as reach and interactions continue to decline, these targets may not continue to be relevant.

10. There’s a best day for everything on Pinterest.

The Pinterest blog recently revealed which categories get the most engagement on each day of the week. Here’s how the calendar lays out:

  • Monday: Fitness
  • Tuesday: Technology
  • Wednesday: Inspirational quotes
  • Thursday: Fashion
  • Friday: Humor
  • Saturday: Travel
  • Sunday: Food and crafts

What you can do with this data: Create Pinterest boards that fit into each of these categories (only if you can justify how it can fit into your overall brand message) and pin to that board on the days listed above.

There is a lot of data and research on social media available. As the communication method continues to grow and evolve, there will be even more data and research. The bottom line with the information above is to try and find what strategies work best for your brand and don’t let outside data and research be the only deciding factor.

Did any of the stats surprise you? Let us know in the comments section.

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