Which News Sites Get the Most Social Media Engagement?

27 10 2010

It is safe to say that most news sites are now experimenting with various forms of user engagement and content promotion through social media. In recent years many larger news organizations were still coming to terms with the need for a social presence and the nature of their participation. Now the focus is decidedly more tactical with sites looking to understand how to maximize the benefits of their efforts and better integrate them with other marketing initiatives.

So which news sites are getting the most out of their social media efforts?

That’s not an easy question to answer without having access to each site’s analytics data and knowing their goals and objectives. But it is possible to make some basic comparisons using data from some of the free tools that are available.

Since I’ve been comparing major news sites in variety of areas (Facebook and Twitterimpact; YouTube and new Digg activity; site speed and domain authority, among others) I thought I’d look at overall social media engagement too.

PostRank has a comparison tool that uses its Domain Activity API to measure total engagement based on user participation across multiple social platforms. So I ran 30+ news sites through the tool.

PostRank counts “engagement events” which it defines as individual activities such as a tweet, like, comment, digg, RSS view, etc. It then assigns “engagement points” to each event; events that demonstrate a higher level of effort and engagement are given higher values. These points are combined into a total engagement score (for more information see What is Engagement? on their site).

So which news sites are getting the most social media engagement?

Engagement Score
1 The New York Times 11,292,352
2 CNN 7,413,850
3 BBC News 6,760,101
4 Yahoo News 5,894,236
5 The Guardian 4,906,694
6 The Huffington Post 4,721,214
7 Slate 3,526,905
8 The Wall Street Journal 3,354,520
9 Reuters 2,891,586
10 The Washington Post 2,415,594
11 Los Angeles Times 1,919,978
12 Fox News 1,690,950
13 Telegraph.co.uk 1,609,460
14 Daily Mail (UK) 1,304,779
15 NPR 1,114,516
16 Time 985,036
17 The Boston Globe 790,635
18 BusinessWeek 582,067
19 CBS News 565,777
20 Newsweek 562,238
21 The Economist 533,245
22 AP 515,010
23 ABC News 494,823
24 Chicago Tribune 448,363
25 The Financial Times 431,672
26 Forbes 366,096
27 USA Today 363,859
28 The Christian Science Monitor 254,322
29 AOL News 194,779
30 UPI 157,093
31 MSNBC 84,823

The New York Times leads the pack by a considerable margin. CNN, BBC News, Yahoo News, The Guardian and The Huffington Post form the next tier. The top 15 sites earned scored over 1 million; from that point the scores begin to drop considerably.

Here is a head-to-head look at the top three (click to enlarge):

PostRank scores for The New York Times, CNN and BBC News

The BBC News score is somewhat inflated because the PostRank tool cannot isolate by subdirectory so I had to measure all of bbc.co.uk, not just bbc.co.uk/news/. But in going through the site a substantial portion of the content is news so I opted to include it.

In looking at these figures it is important to note that sites with larger audiences have greater opportunities for engagement, so bigger brands are likely to have larger numbers. But reach and total engagement do still matter so I wanted to make that comparison.

More important is the quality of the engagement and the actions that are triggered by it. A smaller number of engagement points that directly lead to traffic, links, fans, signups, revenue or any other desired action can be much more valuable than just raw user activity across social platforms.




One response

30 10 2010
Latest celebrity news through celebrity news blogs and sites | Info Paling Baru | Blog Information

[…] Which News Sites Get the Most Social Media Engagement? « Fedemktg's Blog […]


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