As we wrap up the year, we present our final Facebook publishers ranking before 2019.
At a recent INMA summit, news organizations said engagement is important to attracting and keeping subscribers, but most don’t invest resources in it.
The consumer engagement summit went deep on what converts people from casual readers to subscribers to lifetime customers. A few points echoed what we’ve seen in our data on social media engagements.
- Namely, figure out why your readers are coming to you. Is it for information, inspiration, entertainment?
- Provide content that you yourself would want to see or consume in a specific way
- Delight them. Create stories or moments that will stand out vs. what they see every day (Not clickbait! Not clickbait!)
Even just looking at Facebook trends, the top-engaged stories can reveal a lot about consumer behaviors.
The stories that drive readers to take intentional actions like sharing, commenting, or liking, can provide insight into that story’s reception and what it’s providing for the audience.
With that said, we explored the top publishers and content trends on Facebook.
Here’s what was noteworthy in November’s rankings:
- CNN retains the top spot, growing by 5 million engagements
- Fox News reclaims the second place spot
- There are strong gains toward the bottom of the list; all 25 top sites saw more than 10 million engagements
Onto the data.
The top publishers
The analysis includes English-language content from publishers, ranked by Facebook likes, shares, and comments to their web content. Additionally, these rankings do not include media natively uploaded to a Facebook Page, such as a Facebook video.
CNN continues its growth as the top publisher, while Fox News and BBC rose up to #2 and #3. We took at a look at the secrets to CNN’s 2018 success here.
There weren’t any significant surprises within the top 25 — MSN fell to #26 and Daily Caller to #30, as Newsweek joined the ranking at #24 and Business Insider at #22.
All 25 pubs saw above 10 million engagements, with notable gains for the bottom half of the list.
Like we saw last month, all of the top 25 publishers were well-known outlets. Beyond the top 25, verticalized publishers do remarkably well with 24/7 Sports, TMZ, and Comicbook ranking in at #27, 28, and 29, respectively.
The top stories of November
What were the most-engaged stories of the past month? Here’s what NewsWhip Analytics revealed.
Within the top 15 articles for November, Stan Lee’s passing and satirical/humorous articles featured heavily.
At INMA, there was much discussion over how to reward audiences for reading and engaging with content.
“I am not saying we shouldn’t do vegetables,” said says Charles Duhigg, New York Times columnist and senior editor, referring to the common ‘eat your vegetables’ metaphor.
“But for the financial health of our organizations, the rewards are candy. If we’re not taking the vegetables and dipping them in caramel, we’re making some hard choices.”
The top stories seem to show there’s room beyond just the “candy” content, as timely and breaking news stories did make up a portion of the top stories. Many of the top 100 news articles were around the U.S. midterm elections and tear gas being used on immigrants at the U.S./Mexico border.
The top Facebook posts
The candy theme is a lot more prevalent on Facebook. Looking at publishers and brands, the top 15 posts were all native video content:
Content with emotional and human interest angles performed the best on Facebook, as did instructional content.
Brands have the opportunity to go just as viral as publishers and other content producers. It all comes down to the content itself.
Different social channels will all have their different audiences and different themes. We recently explored what works for Gen Z audiences on YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram.
The top publishers of November
Below are the top 25 sites in November, ranked by total Facebook engagements on stories published that month.
These numbers count all Facebook engagement on these sites’ links in November, including shares from publisher pages, copy-and-paste shares, and use of Facebook sharing buttons on the websites themselves. The numbers do not include engagement on live or native videos.
Check out our holiday content report, for creating winning Christmas & New Year’s content across the social platforms.