The Problem with “Global” Social Media Statistics
Just look at this one (well, I shrunk it because like too many infographics it’s too big to make sense visually in this blog format – if you want to see it full size, click here: A Twitter infographic by Fusework Studios). It’s easy to make fun of them because they are simple facts based on limited data samples. However, they also represent things we do want to know. The intent of studies like this is noble: they are trying to give us trends on how people use social networks, in hopes that we will get insights in to how to use them better (oh, and of course inquire as to the services provided by the companies behind the “research.” Please download our white paper and sign up for our newsletter).
Fair enough. Noble enough. But the data is useless.
For data about social media that is practical, you must look at relevant data.
General data makes for some pretty infographics (and a ton of butt-ugly ones), but they are general – that’s not relevant.
Where to look for the relevant versions of this data? Your own data.
When is the best time to Tweet? Overall, this infographic says weekends. But whom are you trying to reach? Are those people engaging on weekends? What does your Twitter data say? Perhaps you get more retweets, mentions, and clicks on your Twitter links on Mondays. Maybe your Facebook page gets more action on a Tuesday afternoon. Are you a beer company? Maybe “beer o’clock” on Friday is the time to post – 0n any social network. I don’t know that, but if you represent a beer company I trust you are checking it out.
“Global” social media statistics are fun conversation starters, and are best when recognized as superficial examples of . But they are not practical. Enjoy the pretty pictures, but follow the muse in front of your nose (or in your analytics programs).