Despite it being smack in the middle of mustache-focused Movember, when it comes to social media the 'stache is getting beaten by the beard - and by more than a whisker.
That's according to the data-mining folks at at Kontera, who apparently have been tracking this very thing.
Over the last nine days of October - the same period over which the World Series featuring the notably bearded Boston Red Sox played out -- the share of "consumption" (how often a term is "seen" online and via mobile and social channels) for "beard" was 77% against 23% for "mustache."
Over the following 11 days -- when one might expect Movember momentum to push the 'stache to increased face time, consumption actually dropped to 20% while the beard saw a commensurate boost to 80%.
Maybe we're splitting hairs, but we kind of wish Kontera had done an exact apples-to-apples comparison -- one time period is nine days long, the other 11 days -- but we felt it was worth sharing for a couple of reasons.
First is Kontera's conclusion:
"The data shows that planned annual events need to be front-loaded, because interest will peak quickly, and then fade just as quickly. On the other hand, the Red Sox beard storyline, which wasn't planned, just kept growing and growing during the World Series, offering real time/agile marketers an opportunity to latch on to a rising tide of interest.
"The takeaway for brands looking for real time/agile marketing opportunities, there is less visibility to market around the middle or end of any 'planned' event."
The other reason? That there has been a comparison at all underscores the long-standing and sometimes fierce rivalry -- call it a tonsorial tête-à-tête if you will -- between the bearded boys and the mustache men that we've noticed cropping up again and again ever since it first reared its grizzled head while we were covering the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships (WBMC) in Anchorage, Alaska.
We first notice the split when a mustachioed gent from Trondheim, Norway, lobbying for that city to be the site of the 2011 WBMC (it was) made a peculiar comment.
"Everyone always thinks Vikings had beards," he said. "But they didn't. If you had a beard and you were in battle, the person you were fighting could grab your beard and cut off your head. They had mustaches."
We'd never realized that, for some men, the difference between mustache and beard isn't a matter of style -- it's a matter of life over death.
Shaving hasn't been the same since.