Social Media Insight Tools

Trends in social media analytics

By   |   August 20th, 2018   |   Reading time: 4 minutes Digital Journalism

Social Analytics Platform, Social Media Insights Platform

We use the latest trends in social media analytics to uncover how to succeed on social for the rest of the year.

With fragmented audiences and ways of reaching them in 2018, there’s no clear path to success. So how are publishers, communicators, and brands innovating on social and with their digital content?

Around two-thirds of U.S. adults say they get news from social media, according to recent reports from Pew Research. That’s not to mention all of the people turning to social media for entertainment or inspiration, community or self-expression.

In our 2018 Guide to Social Publishing, we make sure that you’re well-prepared for the rest of the year. Read the report for our data-driven insights on content creation based on what we’ve seen in 2018 so far.

In our latest report, we look at how to:

  • Understand dark social and peer-to-peer sharing
  • Encourage different types of actions on content
  • Analyze the wins and losses of your competitors
  • Adopt best practices from a variety of content creators into your strategy

Here are just a few of the insights we explored.


What is dark social and how can you understand it?


Dark social refers to the shares that don’t occur publicly, such as sharing a post via a messaging app or email.

According to data from GetSocial, dark social sharing is twice as big as public sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and other channels. Our data has echoed this — while Facebook Page engagements have fluctuated, engagements to many web publishers have remained strong.

Indeed, it’s important to keep a pulse on this. Our data showed that for many publishers, less than a fourth of their web content engagements could be linked back to their Facebook Page.

link percentage Facebook low

The type of content that does well on a publisher’s Facebook Page can also be wildly different from what went viral organically from their website.

In the report, we take a closer look at the patterns behind those differences.


How can you encourage shares and comments on your content?


Recently, we’ve taken a deeper dive into stories, and the specific audience behaviors that they drive. If your story prompts a simple like, well, that’s better than no engagements.

But a share or a comment can be more meaningful, both as feedback on how your content is doing, and as a way to distribute your content even further.

Using our data, we examined the differences in top stories, when ranked by likes, shares, or comments.

Reuters top stories

Oftentimes, the stories were quite different, as we can see from the Reuters example above.

In the report, we look at what you need to know for creating share-worthy content, through trends in social media analytics.


Perfecting your headline strategy


Headlines are almost always a head-scratcher. How do you write something that is attention-grabbing, that strikes a balance between boring and clickbait?

Studies show that 60 percent of social users share just the headline of an article without reading it. Headlines must carry the whole weight of a story, and be inherently shareable.

Plus, what might have grabbed social users’ attention a year ago, won’t necessarily work today.

So, how are publishers adapting? Food publisher Delish has seen a complete change in its most engaging headlines. Using our data, we decided to explore trends in social media analytics.

At a glance, we can see that 2018’s top headlines are a good deal more conversational. There’s an average of 3.5x more words. Put quite simply: the headline is the story.

While we can’t say for certain, given that headlines are being read more than actual articles, there could be a correlation between the increase in engagements and the change in headline strategy.

So much can change in a year — when looking at April 2018 vs. April 2017, there’s a measurable change in how successful those stories were on Pinterest. Delish articles in April 2017 drove an average of 822 Pins, compared with 2,159 Pins in April 2018.

When creating your content, thinking of a compelling headline can make or break your article’s distribution potential. Keep experimenting and take a look at your data to back up what works. There are new ways to reach your audience emerging all the time.

For more trends in social media analytics, you can download the report here.

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