In September 2011, Facebook introduced the Subscribe feature, allowing anyone to subscribe to the updates of anyone else. For public figures, like journalists, with thousands of followers this has turned out to be a boon.
Since its launch, thousands of journalists have enabled Subscribe, with news organizations like Washington Post (90+ journalists using the feature) and The New York Times (50+ journalists using the feature) leading the way. The average journalist has seen a 320% increase in subscribers since November 2011, according to our analysis of a sample of 25 journalists across a variety of outlets who enabled subscribe in September.
From journalists like CNN’s Don Lemon postingbreaking news about Jon Huntsman to The New York Times Moscow bureau reporter Michael Schwirtz posting live videos as he covered recent protests.
Based on the analysis we conducted, here are some of the trends we’re seeing in the type of content journalists are producing on Facebook, as well as what content receives above-average feedback. Let’s start with content types:
- Questions and Input: 25% of posts contain a question to the reader.
- Links: 62% of posts contain a link. And when reporters include analysis with the links, those links receive 20% more referral clicks on average.
- Photos: 12% of posts were photos. Posts with photos receive 50% more likes than posts without photos.
So of the content that journalists are sharing, what actually works?
There are several types of content that seem to produce above-average feedback from subscribers…
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