How are UK national newspaper sites doing with social media?

Most newspaper  sites have now embraced social sharing; with-share buttons on their pages, journalists building up large followings etc. But just how successful are UK news sites doing socially?

Obviously visibility on social sites such as Facebook is important because it can potentially drive traffic.  But – with Google and Bing beginning to look at popularity on social networks as a factor when judging the quality of web pages and how they should be ranked  - it could also be playing a role in improving search visibility, and hence traffic.

So there’s a good case for news and other web sites building and monitoring social visibility.  And one way of tracking this is analysing how often their content is shared.  Our client, search and social analytics company, Searchmetrics , studied this recently for 12 UK newspaper sites, collating data about the total average weekly links shared on Facebook (shares, likes and comments), Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Google+ and Delicious over a ten week period. Here’s what they found out:

 Average Social Links per Week of UK Newspaper Web sites

1. www.dailymail.co.uk  (2,908,779 links/week)

2. www.guardian.co.uk   (2,587,258 links/week)

3. www.telegraph.co.uk  (879,783 links/week)

4. www.independent.co.uk (617,148 links/week)

 5. www.thesun.co.uk  (195,311 links/week)

 6. www.ft.com (83,382 links/week)

 7. www.dailyrecord.co.uk (82,151 links/week)

 8. www.mirror.co.uk  (54,881 links/week)

 9.  www.heraldscotland.com (13,063 links/week)

 10. www.express.co.uk (9,600 links/week)

 11. www.dailystar.co.uk  (702 links/week)

 12. www.thetimes.co.uk  (256 links/week) 

So the Daily Mail and Guardian sites are most visible – unsurprisingly perhaps as the Mail is rating as one of the busiest UK newspaper web sites  and the Guardian is well known for its impressive social media strategy. Those sites with paywalls obviously tended to have fewer links shared.

Social spread analysis

Searchmetrics also looked at the ‘social spread’ of the top two sites ie how visible they are across the six social networks. They compared the total links generated on  different social sites over a six month period.  TheDailyMail.co.uk generated over half of its links (50.78 per cent) on StumbleUpon, with Facebook activity (likes, shares and comments) accounting for 45.87 per cent and links on Twitter 3.21 per cent.

For Guardian.co.uk, more than half (56.77 per cent) of the links came from Facebook, with StumbleUpon accounting for 31.35 per cent and Twitter 10.98 per cent.

Searchmetrics suggested thatbecause StumbleUpon is a very popular site globally, the large number of  links it generated for UK sites could have been generated throughout the world from English speakers who use it. 

Most frequently shared content

The most frequently shared content on Dailymail.co.uk was shown to be an article (with images) about the Japan earthquake which had been shared 392,521 times on the monitored social sites. Guardian.co.uk’s most frequently shared content was a cheeky quiz discussing quotes from Muammar Gaddafi and Charlie Sheen

Dailymail.co.uk’s top three most frequently shared articles

1.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1365318/Japan-earthquake-tsunami-The-moment-mother-nature-engulfed-nation.html (392,521 links)

2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2018020/Amy-Winehouse-dead–Found-dead-London-flat.html (253,561 links)

3. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2013870/Robber-broke-hair-salon-beaten-black-belt-owner-kept-sex-slave-days–fed-Viagra.html (252,650 links) 

Guardian.co.uk’s top three most frequently shared articles 

1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/quiz/2011/mar/01/muammar-gaddafi-charlie-sheen-quiz  (363,938 links) 

2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit (210,468 links)

3. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks (187,987 links)

The data for this study was taken from the global social media database that Searchmetrics operates to power its online software tools.  This is a regularly updated store of data points related to web sites and their visibility on social networks. 

BTW, if you’d like to have a demo and trial of this software, let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Average Social Links per Week of UK Newspaper Web sites


 

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk  (2,908,779 links/week)

 

  1. www.guardian.co.uk               (2,587,258 links/week)

 

  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk    (879,783 links/week)

 

  1. http://www.independent.co.uk (617,148 links/week)

 

  1. http://www.thesun.co.uk         (195,311 links/week)

 

  1. http://www.ft.com                       (83,382 links/week)

 

 

 

 

  1. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk   (82,151 links/week)

 

  1. http://www.mirror.co.uk             (54,881 links/week)

 

  1. http://www.heraldscotland.com (13,063 links/week)

 

  1. http://www.express.co.uk              (9,600 links/week)

 

  1. http://www.dailystar.co.uk               (702 links/week)

 

  1. http://www.thetimes.co.uk              (256 links/week)


 

 

 

Searchmetrics also analysed the spread of social networks on which Dailymail.co.uk’s pages were shared over a six month period (see underneath), revealing that the site received over half of its links (50.78 per cent) on StumbleUpon, with Facebook activity (likes, shares and comments) accounting for 45.87 per cent and links on Twitter 3.21 per cent.

 

More than half (56.77 per cent) of Guardian.co.uk’s social links came from Facebook with StumbleUpon accounting for 31.35 per cent and Twitter 10.98 per cent according to the study.

 

Social Spread

 

 

 

“Some people we have shown this data to have been surprised at the volume of links generated for UK newspapers on the StumbleUpon social bookmarking site.  This is a very popular site globally and the links could have been generated throughout the world from English speakers who use StumbleUpon,” added Dr Joepen.   

 

The most frequently shared content on Dailymail.co.uk was shown to be an article (with images) about the Japan earthquake which had been shared 392,521 times on the monitored social sites. Guardian.co.uk’s most frequently shared content was a humorous quiz discussing quotes from Muammar Gaddafi and Charlie Sheen. 

 

Dailymail.co.uk’s top three most frequently shared articles

 

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1365318/Japan-earthquake-tsunami-The-moment-mother-nature-engulfed-nation.html (392,521 links)

 

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2018020/Amy-Winehouse-dead–Found-dead-London-flat.html (253,561 links)

 

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2013870/Robber-broke-hair-salon-beaten-black-belt-owner-kept-sex-slave-days–fed-Viagra.html (252,650 links)

 

Guardian.co.uk’s top three most frequently shared articles

 

  1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/quiz/2011/mar/01/muammar-gaddafi-charlie-sheen-quiz  

(363,938 links)

 

  1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit

(210,468 links)

 

 

  1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

(187,987 links)

Uday

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