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Relatively long and fairly complex—though not overly difficult—blog posts by brands garner the most social shares, according to recent research from TrackMaven.

The report was based on data from more than 65,000 blog posts published on company websites between September 2015 and August 2016, as well as data from more than 20 million shares of those blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Blog posts that are fairly long, between 1,200 and 1,400 words, receive the most social shares (428) per post, on average, the analysis found.

To assess the readability (i.e., language complexity) of the content, the researchers applied the Flesch formula to all of the blog posts included in the dataset. Each post was assigned a score between 0 (very difficult to read) to 100 (very easy to read).

Posts with "fairly difficult" scores (50-59) receive the most social shares (144 per post), on average. Pieces with "very difficult" scores (0-29) receive the fewest social shares (64 per post), on average.

Brand blog posts with seven words in their titles receive the most social shares (412), on average.

Posts with very short titles, between one and four words, as well as posts with very long titles (15+ words), receive the fewest social shares, on average.

The vertical bar is the best performing punctuation mark in blog post titles. The posts examined that included it received 5,869 social shares, on average.

Blog post titles that include question marks receive more social shares (306), on average, than post titles that include exclamation marks (226 social shares, on average).

About the research: The report was based on data from more than 65,000 blog posts published on company websites between September 2015 and August 2016, as well as data from more than 20 million shares of those blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji