In July, U.S. media publishers generated nearly 1.5 billion total social actions (likes, comments, shares, retweets, dislikes), a 1 percent engagement improvement compared with the previous month.
Publishers generated 48 percent of their engagement on Instagram, followed by Facebook (47 percent), Twitter (4 percent) and YouTube (1 percent). The media publishing industry generated 22 percent of the engagement generated by all U.S. brands in July.
Publishers generated a slight engagement increase in spite of posting 2 percent less often in July compared with the previous month. They generated a 4 percent month-over-month engagement increase on Instagram, which accounted for the overall growth of actions. Facebook experienced a 1 percent engagement decline.
Among the top 10 publishers, Breitbart experienced the most month-over-month improvement, at 51 percent, edging National Geographic Travel, which generated 46 percent more engagement in July than June. National Geographic again ranked No. 1. Bleacher Report and Tasty swapped places to finish second and third, respectively, in July.
National Geographic Travel generated the most engagement growth from video content, at 42 percent. Tastemade generated the highest percentage of its total engagement from videos, at 100 percent, followed by NowThis (99 percent) and Tasty (93 percent).
- i Total actions include all post-level likes, shares, retweets, dislikes and comments (does not include views).
- ii Total content includes all posts, tweets, media and YouTube videos posted by each brand across platforms.
- iii Total fans/followers includes fans/followers for all properties under each brand as of July 31, 2016.
- iv The percent change in actions metric calculates the growth or decline in total actions in June compared to June.
Key engagement drivers in June
Breitbart’s engagement growth was driven by posts criticizing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with different messages on the same photo. Other top posts asked its audience to Pray for Dallas after the shooting that killed five police officers.
While National Geographic Travel experienced the most month-over-month engagement improvement from video content, at 42 percent, videos only accounted for 3 percent of its total actions. Instead, it generated nearly 8 million more Instagram actions in July than the previous month, a 47 percent improvement. Top content included images of Sequia National Park, elephants at a waterhole in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and the bright blue water of Moraine Lake in Alberta, Canada.
Hypebeast was third among the top 10 in terms of month-over-month engagement improvement. The publisher generated 14 percent more actions in July compared with the previous month. It drove engagement with an announcement about Pokemon Go, remembering Robin Williams and an incredible soccer field.
Fastest-growing categories and publishers
The fastest-growing categories by social engagement month over month were travel (39 percent), politics (25 percent) and home and garden (21 percent), driven by National Geographic Travel, Breitbart and BuzzFeed’s Nifty, respectively.