Oct 2nd 2014

If I say the word “meme” around a group of web savvy people, the first thing that will come to most minds is an image macro–a photograph overlayed with funny text. A sort of meta inside joke that gets passed around the internet. Things like Good Guy Greg, Success Baby or Grumpy Cat. And while it’s true those are examples of what the word “meme” really means, they’re a very small subset of the greater definition.

An understand of the larger context of memetics–the science of memes–is useful for marketers interesting in creating content in a socially connected environment. So I’ll aim here to present to you an introduction to the field that you can use to make more contagious …

Sep 8th 2014

When I’m speaking at a conference, one of the most common questions I’m asked is what do I think the future of social media is. I’m not great at distant future predicting, but I do believe the story of the present and near-future of social media is visual content. From the impact of images and video on Facebook and Twitter to the new crop of media-centric social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, it’s clear that inbound marketers need to be turning out great visual content.

I recently spent some time collecting a large Instagram database and analyzing it to identify the characteristics that make images work (or not work). The result is the infographic below. If you’re curious …

Aug 12th 2014

Using a database of 11.4 million posts published by just over 24,000 of the most liked Facebook pages, dating back to 2010 and earlier, I was able to analyse the performance (in terms of likes) of the four most common post types: Photo, Video, Link, and Status (text only posts) over three and a half years.

My earlier research showing that Photo posts typically receive the most likes was confirmed by this newer, larger study, but I also found a few other interesting trends. Simple text-based posts have been on a decline since early 2012 and the Video type has begun to gain effectiveness since late 2013.

There was also an interesting shakeup in the order of post type …

May 21st 2014

Selfies are pretty cool, everybody’s posting them. Merriam-Webster just added the word Selfie to the dictionary. The most retweeted tweet ever posted was a selfie from the Oscars.

If you’ve heard the latest novelty dance music hit #SELFIE you’ll recall that the song’s protagonist ponders aloud which filter she should use, X-Pro II or Valencia. After hearing it for the millionth time, it struck me that there is a data-backed answer to that question.

I did a little preliminary investigation and found that there has been no large scale analysis of selfie posting yet done. So I gathered a dataset of just over 160,000 Instagram images tagged with #Selfie and did some analysis. I looked at filters, tags and colors …

Oct 17th 2013

More new ReTweet data! In the past few weeks, I’ve looked at quotes and hashtags and images.

This time I decided to look at Tweet-length, in characters and it’s relationship to ReTweets. The data set is up to 1.4 million randomly selected Tweets, from 1.2 million different accounts.

I found that Tweets between 100 and 115 characters were 34% more likely to be ReTweeted than Tweets outside of that range, with a 99.9% confidence interval. A big drop off in ReTweet probability occurs once Tweets get beyond about 120 characters, but up to that point, the longer the Tweet, the better.