Monday, December 17, 2012
Local content drives engagement on Facebook
A couple of weeks ago, my colleague David Kimmett, Director of Client Solutions in North America, sent me a link to this post on the Nieman Journalism Lab about a National Public Radio (NPR) experiment on Facebook. In his email, he said:
I saw this and thought you’d be interested. I was intrigued by the commonalities between segment traits for the successful NPR stories and successful marketing comms.
Well, David was right. I am interested. And I think that there is a lot that marketers can learn from the experiment.
The most important finding is only mentioned in passing in the post that David highlighted, but it is explored in detail in this previous one. NPR normally posts to its global fan page on an hourly basis, but for this experiment it used geo-targeted posts which were only seen by people in Seattle, the home town of member station, KPLU.
The experiment found that on an apples-to-apples basis, posting local content drove stronger levels of shares, likes and comments than global content.
We found that during the first four months of this experiment, the average engagement rate across all geo-focused posts was six times higher than all global posts.
The difference in the engagement rate between the global and geo-targeted posts was huge, and the experiment helped KPLU earn record site traffic. The reasons behind this difference are explored in the post that David sent to me.
NPR Digital Services expanded the experiment to four member stations in different regions, and then classified the geo-targeted posts by content type to identify which ones were most engaging. They identified nine different types of story that drove higher levels of engagement as shown in this infographic.
The original post noted that some of the stories fit into multiple categories resulting in overlap between them. A quick look suggests to me that there are an even smaller number of commonalities, and that they apply equally well to local, national or global content:
Newsworthy: people want to be “in the know.” Whether it is breaking global, national or local events they like to know what is going on.
Explanatory: people like to know the “why behind the what.” Whether it is content that explains local traits or news, people like content that helps them make sense of the world around them.
Entertaining: awesome images and stories make us want to share. Wonderful images and feel-good stories not only entertain us, they provide material to share with others.
Stimulating: people want to talk. Whether it is curiosities or controversies, people like to discuss things of interest and offer their opinion.
These motivations are common to brands, not just local radio stations. We know people appreciate personally relevant content and a sense of community, but these findings suggest that relevance may also be found in making content more specific to where someone lives, not just their lifestyle.
So does the NPR experiment stimulate your thoughts? If so please do share them.
This entry was posted on Monday, December 17, 2012
and is filed under Media.
You can leave a response.