Exclusive: a study by Upgrade Media of more than 200,000 articles, from 20 media titles, which jointly generated 285 million engagements on Facebook. We look at which topics/content generate engagement, and which underperform. Which subjects are approaching saturation point with resulting diminishing engagement, and which, by contrast are under-exploited and ripe for promotion?
Stop ‘feeding the tigers’ with frenzied posting all the time. Learn how to adjust your efforts and understand what your communities want and respond to on social media. Plus how to take a moment to compare yourself to your competitors.
This exclusive study by Upgrade Media focuses on the performance index of your journalism, the very real danger of audience saturation, and the underinvestment in subjects ripe for exploration. It highlights how crucial it is to continuously learn and adapt according to your results. Its findings inform and inspire your approach to content strategy and management.
What are we measuring?
Upgrade Media’s performance index analyses which topics generate engagement on Facebook/X (Twitter) compared to other content from the same brand, and to similar content from competing titles.
Let’s take a concrete example with a well-known generalist theme, in this case the French president “Macron” and a focus on national and regional media.
What can we conclude from this?
Graph 1 – Which national media get the best engagement with the word “Macron”?
Graph2 – Which regional media bet the best engagement with the word “Macron”?
The 200,000 article titles analysed were published between June 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.
Overall, the word “Macron” is not a subject that fascinates the crowds. For the vast majority of media, national or regional, content dealing with news about the president is less engaging than standard content, except for Cnews or Actu.fr. However, in the case of Actu.fr, although this topic performs better, the number of articles concerned is limited: only 21. It should be noted that for BFMTV or Le Parisien, the performance index is significantly lower than the performance of their other content, which strongly suggests saturation and/or a need to fine tune this topic to make the content more attractive.
Let’s take a look at other examples to explore our performance index:
Articles containing the words “Ukraine”, “Zelinski” and “kyiv” underperform overall for all media in the sample. That is to say that these keywords all feature in a high number of articles, but that for all the titles studied the performance index is less than 0, meaning below the average performance for topics. It should be noted that L’Indépendant is the media that produced the most articles with these keywords (659 articles in this sample), i.e. more than 6% of articles, but still has a negative performance index.
Articles containing the words “Russia”, “Putin” and “Moscow” also underperform, except for Cnews whose performance index is equal to 0, i.e. equal to the average. It should be noted that NouvelObs produced the most articles on these keywords in total, 315 articles, without achieving a higher engagement than the average across all of its articles.
In both cases the evidence strongly suggests a “saturation” effect on the part of social media audiences. That doesn’t mean that the titles should stop dealing with these subjects, but that energy should be spent on learning how to cover them in a way that resonates better with the audiences. That could mean different angles, different formats, different content types, or strategies to encourage sharing, commenting, and liking.
The implication is that we need to focus on those points where a little attention can result in a lot of improvement. Resources are scarce; we need to do less, but better.
Taking a broader look:
– on issues related to “Climate” or “Politics”, we see all media underperforming when it comes to engagement.
– on “Health” and “Covid” issues only Le Monde shows a largely positive performance while all others underperform.
Interested in this topic ? A free webinar for media professionals will be offered at the start of the school year to explore other examples and learn from them.
If you would like to receive studies tailored to your concerns, contact us!
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About Upgrade Media: Upgrade Media is a creative agency, strategy consultancy, training center and media transformation think tank, through its brand New World Encounters.
◾️ We work for media and communicating companies to accelerate their digital transformations, evolve their organizations, print and digital products, and also develop team agility.
◾️ Check out our Upgrade Media website to learn more about our projects and approach.
◾️ We hope this article and our other content inspires you!
Thank you for reading.
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