Which are the best days and times to post to a blog? Do capital letters, exclamation points, and question marks in titles lead to more engagement? On which social networks do readers share blog posts most often?
TrackMaven recently tackled those questions (and many others) in its Colossal Content Marketing Report, which was based on an analysis of 1.16 million posts from 4,618 blogs and 1.9 million social shares of those posts. The data set included blog posts from a range of publishers, including content marketers, individuals, and media companies.
Below, key findings:
Best Days and Times to Post
- 87% of the blog posts examined were published during the workweek, with Tuesday and Wednesday the most popular days for posting.
- However, the 13% of pieces published on weekends actually had more social shares per post on average.
- Saturdays were particularly ripe for blog post sharing: Only 6.3% of posts were published on Saturdays, but they received 18% of the total social shares.
- The bulk of blog posts examined were published during US working hours, from roughly 9 AM to 6 PM ET, with the peak at 11 AM-12 PM.
- Posting frequency steadily declined after 6 PM EST, but there was a secondary spike 12-1 AM ET, most likely due to scheduled posts at the start of the next business day.
- The peaks of engagement (social shares) with blog posts were actually clustered outside of working hours: The most social shares occurred 9 PM-midnight ET, with the highest point of engagement coming 10-11 PM.
- There were also additional smaller spikes in social sharing 4-6 AM ET, 7-8 PM, and 1-2 AM.
Blog Post Titles
- The blog post titles examined were around 40 characters in length on average.
- However, those with titles a bit longer than average, around 60 characters in length, received the most social shares.
- Blog posts with titles beyond 60 characters in length had sharp declines in social shares.
- 95% of blog posts analyzed did not include a question mark in the title, but those that did had nearly twice as many social shares.
- That said, publishers should not go overboard, because post titles with two or more question marks had the lowest number of social shares.
- Few publishers use exclamation points (97% of posts analyzed did not have one), and for good reason: Average social shares decreased for blog titles that had up to three exclamation points.
- Interestingly, though less than 0.1% of posts included four exclamation points, those that did had more social shares than average.
- 12% of blog titles analyzed had no capitalization, and less than 1% were written in all caps.
- Most publishers appear to be using standard capitalization for their posts, which is a good decision; posts with a mix of capital and lowercase letters had the most shares.
Most social sharing for the blog posts examined occurred on Twitter and Facebook:
- Tweets accounted for 38.6% of total social shares.
- Facebook Likes made up 33.8% of engagement.
- Facebook Shares accounted for 26.7%.
About the research: The report was based on an analysis of 1.16 million posts from 4,618 blogs and 1.9 million social shares of those posts.