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From the unbanked to the unnewsed: Just doing good journalism won’t be enough to bring back reader trust
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Feb. 5, 2015, 12:08 p.m.
LINK: hacktext.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Caroline O'Donovan   |   February 5, 2015

Aram Zucker-Scharff, a content strategist with CFO Publishing, has a new piece about the results of a casual independent experiment he conducted on Facebook’s News Feed. His experiment — which he himself calls “not-so-scientific” — only lasted two weeks, and, as he notes, the analytics data he’s working with is less than perfectly accurate. But it might still be worthwhile to take a look at a few of his findings, particularly for people running Facebook pages for news organizations.

For example, he finds that getting users to click on links is much more important than getting users to like or comment when it comes to getting a post promoted:

With a significant amount of consistency, the count of people who clicked on articles was the most important measure for determining the continuing popularity of a post. Almost every post was clicked the day it was posted and the day after. If the number of clicks exceeded 25% of the previous day, it usually got clicks the day after. If they didn’t, it didn’t get any clicks the following day.

I had some pretty active comment threads over this period, with variety when it came to the number of different participants. As far as I can tell, the number of comments or commenters didn’t significantly matter when it came to a post’s popularity.

Zucker-Scharff also tried to find a correlation between the time a link was posted and how much traffic the story received from Facebook:

I saw absolutely no correlation between the popularity of an article and when I shared it.

Zucker-Scharff also found that the majority of reading and click on Facebook is done on mobile devices, which means publishers need to be thinking about how their stories look on mobile devices:

60% of clicks were from mobile users. 87% of those users were on Apple or Samsung devices.

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