The Most Social Publishers




most social publishers

Your campaign is out of production and off to promotion. Your team begins to build a list of targeted publishers, but they might be overlooking a crucial step: identifying a publisher’s level of social engagement.

This metric has revolutionized publishing, and a strong social presence is what contrasts exclusive-worthy publishers from the rest. Take a minute to think about it: What do sites such as BuzzFeed, Mashable, and Business Insider have in common? They’ve each earned a strong following by optimizing engagement on multiple social channels. In order to maximize your outreach efforts, you’ll want to take full advantage of the loyal followers that sites like these already offer.

So how effective are these publishers on social media? Fractl and BuzzStream pulled 45 of the top publishers among popular verticals along with their total number of followers on multiple social platforms as of June 2015. We then compared the number of followers per article (based on Google search results per domain) for each publisher.

Here are four takeaways to keep in mind before promoting your next campaign:

1. All 45 publishers are on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Unsurprisingly, every publisher is actively involved on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, with publishers averaging the most followers on Facebook and Google+ followed by an average of one less follower per publisher on Twitter. Further analysis revealed:

  • io9 was the only publisher to earn a spot in the bottom five for all three social networks, earning the lowest number of followers for Google+ at 1,000.
  • The Wall Street Journal and TIME were the only two publishers to make it into the top five spot for Twitter and Google+ followers.
  • MTV has the most followers on Facebook – 47.9 million; CNN has the most followers on Twitter – 17.8 million; and BBC has the most followers on Google+ – 7.9 million.
MTV Facebook Page

MTV Facebook Page

2. Although nearly 70 percent of publishers are on StumbleUpon, the social network has the least amount of followers per 10 articles for emerging platforms.

Exactly 31 publishers are on StumbleUpon, but the number of followers per publisher varies significantly. Further comparison revealed:

  • Although it has a presence on the social network, The Washington Post has the lowest number of followers – only 760.
  • Mashable has the most followers on StumbleUpon – 43,000 – 193 percent more than The Washington Post.
  • Out of the 31 publishers on the social platform, more than 40 percent have 10,000 or more followers.
  • Only one publisher that is on Snapchat – The Daily Mail – is not on StumbleUpon.
Mashable StumbleUpon Page

Mashable StumbleUpon Page

3. More than 95 percent of publishers are on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.

Although all publishers are on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, there are a select few that aren’t on the remaining five networks. For instance, io9 is not on LinkedIn or Instagram, and Bloomberg does not have a presence on Pinterest. Additional analysis indicated:

  • The Wall Street Journal has the largest number of followers on LinkedIn at 5.2 million – exactly 160 percent more than Forbes, which falls second.
  • The top five publishers for YouTube – IGN, Vice, BBC, Mental Floss, and ABC News – have more than 1 million followers.
  • Five publishers have less than 1,000 followers on Pinterest.
  • Gizmodo has the most followers on Instagram at 8.7 million – 165 percent more than Rolling Stone.
Gizmodo Instagram Account

Gizmodo Instagram Account

4. There are still a lot of publishers that have not embraced newer social platforms such as Snapchat and Vine.

Our research indicates that there is still a large market available for publishers in newer social networks. Less than 10 publishers use Snapchat, Vine, Meerkat, Flickr, and SoundCloud combined. Those that are on Snapchat, though, tend to have a presence on the majority of the available social networks. One of the most interesting findings? Although 93 percent of publishers are on the image-focused network Instagram, only one publisher – Financial Times – is on Flickr, another image-based platform.

The Next Web on Vine

The Next Web on Vine

Keep in mind that although these are valuable metrics, they are changing daily. A publisher with a large social following is desirable one when you’re determining who to pitch, but remember that any publisher can create a Facebook page – it’s the quality of the page’s content and their ability to garner followers that truly boosts shares.