REPORT: Politics Pages Bucking Trends Of Slashed Facebook Organic Reach

By David Cohen 

DonkeyElephant650It’s no secret that Facebook pages have seen their organic reach plummet in recent months, but some publishers that focus on politics have been able to buck that trend.

Mashable reported on the success of pages from both sides of the political spectrum, highlighting Mother Jones and TheBlaze.

According to data from NewsWhip, cited by Mashable, Mother Jones has seen its monthly Facebook interactions (likes, comments, and shares) rise by more than 700 between August 2013 and May 2014, from some 230,000 to more than 1.9 million.

For comparison’s sake, NewsWhip pointed out that Fox News Channel experienced a gain of nearly 280 percent during that same time period, while The Huffington Post was up 172 percent, and Breitbart 117 percent.

Mother Jones Engagement Editor Ben Dreyfuss credited the magazine’s progressive stance, telling Mashable:

I think that one of the benefits of being a magazine with a voice and doing politics is that people, particularly on Facebook, like to share things that tell the world who they are. They might not live in Montana when Montana legalizes gay marriage, but they are a person that wants to the world to know they like gay marriage.

Traffic from a lot of other places is so flat for a lot of people that I think it’s giving Facebook more and more power.

Former HuffPost CEO Betsy Morgan, president of TheBlaze, said the key for the site, launched by Glenn Beck in 2010, was building an audience and understanding its likes, and she told Mashable stories about guns and religion, and “stories of love and courage where the good guys win” impact TheBlaze’s audience, adding:

We’re a news and information site … we’re not out there as an opinion site masquerading as news and information. Our ethos, our values and principles, our window on the world is based on story selection. I’m going to do a lot more pro-Second Amendment stories than The Huffington Post.

NewsWhip Social Media Editor Liam Corcoran wrote in an email to Mashable:

Few sites have capitalized on this new audience channel like these political sites. The likes of TheBlaze and Think Progress manage to challenge the likes of USA Today and NPR, despite their relatively low monthly output. Each story is carefully crafted and presented to appeal to potential readers scrolling through their News Feed.

While it may seem odd for political sites to be outranking the likes of CNN, BBC, and other mainstream news organizations, it’s not that surprising given their focus on social distribution. Most of these sites, big and small, understand the opportunity that exists in getting their content shared, not only by their fans and followers, but by the friends of those fans and followers.

Readers: Have you noticed more posts from politics-oriented pages in your News Feeds?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.