How ESPN, LADbible, and more achieve success with their Facebook Pages

April 17, 2024

Written by Haley Corzo

News engagement levels on Facebook have fluctuated significantly over the last few years. That’s true of what’s successful on the platform too, with the type of publishers and content seeing the most success on Facebook is different in 2024 to what we saw in, say, 2020. 

Hard news is taking a backseat for now, and while there’s a fair amount of news publishers that still drive a lot of public interest on Facebook, entertainment and sports content are currently the platform’s star performers. 

We looked at the top publishers on Facebook in the last month, specifically their pages and the content that is earning the most engagement, to look at what’s driving their success.

ESPN capitalizes on March Madness

In the last month, at least in the US, the sports world has been dominated by college basketball. March Madness has frequented the headlines and publishers like ESPN have dished out endless content about the game, especially one player in particular.

Caitlin Clark has been one of the most famous collegiate players of the last two years, as well as the subject of ESPN’s most engaged posts on Facebook. 

Six of ESPN’s top ten posts were about March Madness, with half of those mentioning Caitlin Clark for her performance during the tournament or for her farewell game with the Iowa Hawkeyes. The three posts have accumulated over 539k engagements. 

ESPN FC taps into the global soccer community

Of course, ESPN runs the full gamut of sports, and its Facebook page dedicated to football (we’ll call it by its proper name for our international readers) often generates even more engagement with posts than its main account does. 

The top posts in the last month featured a mix of match coverage and spotlighted various players. Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne was mentioned in the top post overall for swapping shirts with Real Madrid player Modric, and earned over 312k engagements.

Every single other post in ESPN FC’s top ten earned over 100k engagements, with two of the most notable posts being about the German football club Bayer Leverkusen’s historic win, and another about a Real Madrid fan getting emotional during a legends match. 

LADbible brings laughs and emotions

Perhaps even more engaging than sports news is news that doubles as entertainment, and that happens to be LADbible’s specialty. The publisher has become one of the biggest social video publishers in the world, and so videos are front and center when looking at the top posts on its Facebook page in the last month.

The videos range from funny and lighthearted, to more interesting and heartwarming. The most engaged post was a quick 15-second clip showing a visual representation of “time heals”, which earned nearly half a million engagements. A funny video about how to get rid of a spam caller also received more than 345k engagements, and a video of an Airbnb with a 75ft slide rounded out the top three posts, with over 299k engagements. 

Daily Mail and the BBC are still seeing success with links

Shifting towards mainstream news publishers, the two that have seen the most engagement with their articles on Facebook often see success in very contrasting coverage. 

Leading the pack for engagement with links from the site is the Daily Mail, earning more than 4.89 million engagements overall in the last month, with the BBC trailing just behind with 4 million.

For the Daily Mail, celebrity news and coverage about the Royal Family have been the biggest contributors to the publishers’ success. An article about Jamie Lee Curtis defending Kate Middleton from conspiracy theories was the biggest story for the Daily Mail, while news about a woman nursing a hedgehog and where King Charles sat during the Easter service also landed in the top 10. 

The BBC’s most engaging reporting tends to be more focused on world news and events, but it was soft news stories that actually resonated the most with the public recently, with the biggest overall also being about the Royal Family, specifically Kate Middleton’s statement on undergoing cancer treatment. The story received over 350k engagements, and was easily the most engaging story for the publisher this month. 

Key Takeaway

Traditional news publishers such as the Daily Mail and BBC continue to generate significant engagement on Facebook, but it’s clear that the landscape is continuously changing, and publishers such as ESPN and LADbible have the opportunity to capitalize on the public’s appetite for content that entertains, and is simply more fun. 

If you’d like to explore how NewsWhip can help you understand what’s performing on Facebook and across social media, book a chat with us here.

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Haley Corzo

Haley is a Content Strategist for NewsWhip working at the intersection of journalism and marketing. With experience working in advertising for consumer brands, she brings a fresh perspective on how NewsWhip’s technology can be used to make an impact. She is passionate about topics such as mental health, women’s issues, and travel.

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