Deep Facebook profiling of key players with Socialbakers stats.
When looking at the top media companies on Facebook, two pages stand out as clear leaders, ESPN and CNN. Though CNN is surely a powerful media outlet with 25 branded networks and services reaching 2 billion people worldwide, ESPN page has been more successful in capturing the attention of Facebook fans around the world with 5,403,392 compared to CNN which has 2,939,538 fans.
As the #1 sports channel for men, it’s easy to argue that it’s the fanaticism of Facebook sports fan which drove this page to the top. However when using Socialbakers Engagement Analytics to examine the how the pages have been run by each of the brands, we’re able to see other indications of why ESPN is performing so well.
So why would ESPN perform better by posting less? In past Socialbaker’s articles, we took a look at “Which brands post too much on their Wall? and analyzed “How often should you post on your Facebook pages? and found that the ideal number is between 5 – 10 posts per week as a brand, and as a media company, this is typically 4 – 10× higher, as news are information people engage with all day long.
So as a media outlet the real problem lies not in the number of posts, but the quality of the posts. CNN posts are dominated by breaking news posts that link back to their website. While this makes sense for a media outlet, news posts alone do not garner engagement as can be seen by the following graph.
ESPN does a great job of not only sharing news stories, but getting their fan’s feedback with posts like “OH SNAP! Every NBA player just showed up at your local blacktop. So, who do you want on your squad?” which received 2,149 likes and 6,005 comments in the last 12 hours alone! It’s no wonder that ESPN leads not only in engagement but also daily interactions.
Another notable media company on Facebook is Fox News with 2,233,001 fans, coming in a close second to CNN. CNN’s lack of engagement will certainly result in Fox News gaining their lead as can see from a comparison of the two pages’ engagement rate during the last month.
With 77 million viewers worldwide each week, you are probably wondering how popular BBC World News is on Facebook. With more than a million fans, they are certainly a large source of news for Facebook users. Unfortunately, however, they use the same method as CNN and simply use their Facebook as a news feed. And while fans do comment and like their posts, the response is nowhere near as great as the fan activity on ESPN and Fox News. In fact if you compare the engagement rate of BBC World News to Fox News, you see a similar story we did with CNN.
While CNN and BBC World News are both known as trusted news sources for people around the world, when it comes to Facebook best practice they can learn something from Fox News and ESPN lively and engaging discussions. Fan-focus and engaging posts are the keys to successful Facebook page growth.
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