In January, U.S. media publishers accounted for 635 million total social actions, with 422 million coming from Facebook, 31M from Twitter and 182 million from Instagram. This represents a 15 percent growth of social engagement for the category, compared to December 2014. This growth was largely driven by a 16 percent uptick in Facebook activity and a 12 percent boost on Instagram.
In January’s edition of the Shareablee Publisher Social Scorecard, Hollywood Life netted highest social engagement growth at 83 percent, propelling it to number 3 on January’s ranking, up from number 8 in December. It scored the number one media publisher spot on Facebook with over 10 million actions on the platform. Bleacher Report, BuzzFeed and The New York Times led the media publishing category on Twitter with 2 million actions, 1 million actions and 890,000 actions, respectively.
Not surprisingly, National Geographic, the most social U.S. brand in 2014, dominated the media publisher ranking in January. The brand’s strategy, particularly its combination of exceptional video and photography coupled with cultural insight and narrative, has propelled the publisher to the number one spot since Shareablee launched the media publisher ranking in August 2014. In January, National Geographic captured 48 percent of the all engaged actions on Instagram for U.S. media publishers and 12 percent of total actions for the media publishing category across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Top Performing Categories
Entertainment was the top performing publisher category, ranked by volume of social media actions across all platforms, followed by the General News and Teen categories. BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post and J-14 Magazine were the top performing properties in each of these categories.
The fastest growing categories by volume of social media actions were Sports, Food and Women’s Interest. The Sports category’s growth was driven largely by two properties: Sports Illustrated and Yahoo Sports. Clean Eating had the highest growth for the Food category at 116 percent; and SELF Magazine saw a 105 percent growth, the most of any other property in the Women’s Interest category.
What Resonates with the Social Reader
Social media for the media publishing industry is stronger than ever with no signs of slowing down. In 2014, the category grew 128 percent year-over-year with engagement outpacing available content. However, more content doesn’t necessarily translate into more actions, as demonstrated by National Geographic. Brands need to understand what resonates with their social audience in order to achieve more social actions. Furthermore, more social engagement results in increased click-throughs and in 2014, we saw media publishers including more links in their social posts. The result: some social native publishers saw up to 425 percent growth in referral traffic. That’s the power of knowing your social audience.
Tania Yuki is founder and CEO of Shareablee, a leading provider of social content analytics for business. She has spent most of her career in digital marketing, measurement and analytics, and was recently honored with a Great Mind Award from the Advertising Research Foundation and featured in Fast Company and Forbes as one of 12 women driving digital in New York.
Top image courtesy of Giedrius Stakauskas.