CHECK YOUR FACTS, BEFORE YOU WRECK YOUR…
We love a good statistic, all of us. Period. We, marketers, that is, use stats to demonstrate value. One great stat that I love is:
Doesn’t really sound like a stat… here… how bout this… “Renown essayist says that 50% of what is seen should not be trusted”We like well researched and enjoyable content to read so it’s important to get your facts straight when creating content for your readers. When we create content we always double check our facts and make sure they come from reputable sources and are pertinent to the message that is being conveyed. If it’s not you will lose your readers… quickly.
Part of the reason I am writing this is because of a post I was reading the other week – it was an article called “28 Powerful Facebook Stats Your Brand Can’t Ignore in 2018” today and many of the stats were eye opening to say the least.
Many of these listicles (articles that are written as lists) and stat driven posts pop their heads up year round but especially at the sta(r)t of the year (so get ready for the 2019 articles to appear).
Fake news has been one of the hot topics of the year, and many think it’s insidious and it is but it can also just be good old fashioned negligence at fault.
You might find a great stat from a reputable site and think awesome have I got a topic to attach this too without really reviewing it especially if the stat while true came from a study that was ill conceived.
So back to the article, one of the stats reads “40% of Facebook Users Have Never Liked a Facebook Page” I read that and thought wow – there must be so many fake accounts but the opposite of click farms – why would there be that many? And would Facebook own up to a stat like that? Hell No
So I found the study it was based on (NB I’m not shaming the company they do have some good research on the site but the quality control person clearly took the day off in this case) and noticed that the sample size was 300 Americans over the age of 18. Not only was the sample size fairly small but the question was misleading and the inference taken by the article writer even more so. The question read “how many brands they tend to Like on Facebook” 0, 1-10, 10-20. They tend to like? What obscure language for a hard hitting stat with a headline 40% of Facebook users have never liked a Facebook page.
And then I looked a little deeper and noticed this illustrious study that it had to be included in an article about stats that my brand couldn’t ignore in 2018 was conducted 4 years ago (or 28 in dogs years and a millennium in internet years).
I went back to the post – That headline again 28… powerful… stats… can’t ignore… 2018? This is a picture perfect clickbait headline (hence why I was reading in the first place).
I scrolled down the page and noticed that it was posted in Feb 2018 but the comments below are time stamped over three years old so this is an old article that was updated and repurposed for 2018 (editor’s note: In SEO speak it’s a good practice to update blog posts from time to time to keep the information relevant and to keep the link authority tied to the updated post rather than creating a new one. It’s also best practice to mention that it is an updated article, which in this case it is not).
There were a number of other mistakes in the post, like a fact that said “Facebook Has More Than 2 Billion Daily Active Users” and then only to contradict itself a line later to 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook.
Don’t worry rant is almost
So, in summing up, if you are planning on going down the content marketing path there are many rules to follow but please make check your facts your readers will be thankful. If you need help on how you can embark on a comprehensive content marketing strategy drop us a line.
Also there is rarely a time you can’t find a relevant Simpsons quote…
Homer take it away