And you thought those photos of the 10 puppies you had to see before you die were all just for fun. Engagement science is transforming the news business. From Buzzfeed’s listicles to Medium’s focus on reads over clicks. It’s all about the data, which is all about engagement – and it’s increasingly all about social.
Why? The explosion of mobile is changing the way people interact with the news. When we’re sitting in front of our laptops, we search. But on mobile, we sit back. We share, but we rarely search. Consumers let information come to us on our mobile phones via push notifications and the cockpits of our favorite social media platforms.
This train’s momentum is strong. Buzzfeed reports that 71% of millennials visit social media sites daily. And mobile has “taken the lead as the primary platform for social – 60% of time spent on social is on mobile (Buzzfeed/eMarketer). Social media isn’t the only car on this mobile train. Video is driving massive usage. Check out these stats:
This behavioral shift is changing the way people read the news. Facebook is encroaching on the territory of the traditional news home page. We’ve seen media properties such as Mashable publish articles first on Facebook, and we’ve seen click bait taken to a new level by suspicious and anonymous publishers (read The Story Behind Click Bait Cluttering Your Facebook Feed). And last week, even The New York Times got into the Instagram game.
The bottom line: An article, video, infographic, blog post, you name it, is the first step, not the last. It must become social, through earned (and sometimes paid) amplification strategies that can bring the message to its audiences.
Since the early days working around her kitchen table, Beth has grown Inkhouse into one of the top independent PR agencies in the country. She’s been named a Top Woman in PR by PR News, a Top 25 Innovator by PRovoke, and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Beth designed Inkhouse’s signature Storytelling Workshop to mirror the literary hero’s journey and to unearth the emotional connections that bind an audience to a brand or idea. She also uses narratives to build Inkhouse’s culture, most recently through two books of employee essays, “Hindsight 2020” and “Aren’t We Lucky?”