Hot off the press! eValue proves news publications excel on social

Published by Engagement Labs on May 8, 2015

When it comes to news on social media it’s about reach not responsiveness

What was once a growing trend has now become a mandatory strategy for brands to disseminate information to their target audiences. Social media provides a way for companies to engage with their audiences and with more people obtaining their daily news online, news outlets have had to change their format for how they circulate news – evolving their practices beyond traditional print and paper and moving into a digital capacity.

In our most recent press release we looked at U.S. traditional print newspaper outlets and exclusively digital news publications using the eValue tool and ranked them based on their Facebook and Twitter channels. We then took a deeper dive into the three main KPI’s our tool measures against and look at which publications are leaders on their social channels for Engagement, Impact and Responsiveness.

Click right for Twitter Edition. Click to enlarge.  

Facebook Proves it’s Number One for News

A unique finding our data showed is that Facebook had a higher eValue score group average than Twitter for both print and digital properties. Print publications on Facebook had a 9.5% higher group average score than Twitter. This is due to the extremely high level of engagement fans have with content on Facebook, especially when looking at likes and shares per 1000 fans, which are two important metrics the eValue tool measures.

As demonstrated below USA Today’s top post on Facebook garnered over 45K likes and 11.4K shares. Those numbers correlate to data that shows not only are more and more people are getting their news from Facebook but also sharing this content with their friends. Increasing the reach of the content and garnering more views and potential impressions on a single piece of news.

USA Today top tweets on Twitter (sorted by # of retweets)

Although eValue data shows that less people are engaging with news on Twitter than on Facebook we still see high levels of engagement on tweets, through retweets and favourites. Lower engagement on Twitter can account for the fact that Twitter operates in real-time and followers sometimes do not have the opportunity to be as engaged in the content as they would on Facebook.

Daily News top tweets on Twitter (sorted by # of retweets)

Swipe right Twitter Edition. Click to enlarge.

Digital News Outlets May be Newer but Holding Their Own

Online news media is rather new to the news media game when you consider most of the top online publications were founded in early 2000’s, while many of the traditional newspapers have been around for decades. Yet being the new medium has not curbed the success of exclusively online news publications. As we saw from our eValue data when comparing both traditional and online news outlets they have similar eValue scores.

We saw a 16% higher group average eValue score for Facebook than Twitter for exclusively online outlets. This supports 2014 data from a study released by the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project showing that 30% of adults in the U.S. use Facebook as a main source of news, becoming a place where people share and discover articles at a high rate. You can see this evidence below with the high amount of likes, comment and shares the top posts for The Verge received.

The Verge top Facebook posts (sorted by # of likes)

BuzzFeed takes the top spot for Twitter. Actively engaging with followers and by retweeting their associated accounts such as @BuzzFeedSports or @BuzzFeedNews to their audience. They have almost over double the amount of retweets that the other outlets had. Demonstrating that they are actively watching their audience and engaging with the content.

Buzzfeed top tweets on Twitter (sorted by # of retweets)

Digital media has allowed news organizations to move beyond the confines of a physical paper and enabled news to be discovered, shared and talked about almost instantaneously and on a global scale. It’s allowing articles to have a longer news cycle and expanding the potential eyeballs their content attracts. By looking at the eValue data we can see how both traditional and digital news media outlets are leveraging social media channels to disseminate their news, expand reach and provide a place for audiences to engage with their content.


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About eValue™:

The eValue™ score measures the effectiveness of a brand’s overall social media performance on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram and provides a score from 0 – 100. It’s the aggregate of the three subscores including Engagement, Impact, and Responsiveness that work together to create one top-level KPI. Our subscores are calculated by using hundreds of sub metrics which are then benchmarked against a hand-picked database of 75,000 verified brand accounts on each channel.

Engagement: Measures the level of interaction generated by your content and how well your community reacts to it.

Impact: Measures how many unique users have potentially been exposed to a piece of content posted by the channel’s admin through organic, viral and paid reach.

Responsiveness: Measures the rate, speed and quality of your responses to fans.