In May, U.S. media publishers accounted for 783 million total social actions, with 524 million actions from Facebook, 35 million from Twitter and 224 million from Instagram.
The media publishing category saw an overall decline in total actions across social compared to April 2015, due to a decrease in total social actions on Facebook and Twitter. The category saw a 2 percent growth in Instagram actions in May compared to April.
Among the Top Ten, BuzzFeed Video saw the highest growth in engagement, with 45 percent growth compared to April. This placed BuzzFeed Video in the top spot for Facebook actions. Bleacher Report, which continues to lead the category on Twitter, grew 28 percent in total social actions, driven by a 36 percent growth on Facebook and 31 percent growth on Instagram over April 2015. National Geographic once again came out on top in total actions on Instagram, with 92 percent of its total actions coming from the platform
Key engagement drivers in May
BuzzFeed Video and Billboard’s increases in social engagement were driven by Instagram, which grew by 126% and 111%, respectively. BuzzFeed Video’s top performing Instagram posts were humorous musings and illustrations encouraging social audiences to take an action on the content. Billboard’s social success on Instagram was driven by posts featuring Taylor Swift at The Billboard Music Awards on May 17 using the hashtag #BBMAs. Five other publishers in the Top Ten saw growth in Instagram actions exceeding 20 percent: Bleacher Report, National Geographic Travel, Hollywood Life, Playboy and The Huffington Post.
On Twitter, Billboard also saw a 39 percent growth in social actions, driven by tweets about various bands topping the #Trending140 chart. These tweets also drove a 45 percent increase in retweets for the media publisher. Hollywood Life and BuzzFeed Video also saw positive growth on the platform, with 31 percent and 11 percent, respectively. The band Fifth Harmony scored Hollywood Life’s top socially performing tweets, while BuzzFeedVideo saw social success on Twitter by posting recipes and how-to’s for its social audience to consume.
Fastest Growing Categories and Publishers
The fastest growing categories by total social engagement were Sports (+20 percent), Fashion & Style (+19 percent) and Travel (18 percent). The Sports category’s growth was driven largely by Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated, with coverage on the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight increasing engagement for the media publishers by 28 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Yahoo Shine had the highest growth for the Fashion & Style category at 219 percent, followed by Vogue’s 88 percent growth rate. In the Travel category, Condé Nast Traveler and National Geographic Travel saw the highest growth at 44 percent and 29 percent, respectively.
Tania Yuki is founder and CEO of Shareablee, a leading provider of social content analytics for business. She has spent most of her career in digital marketing, measurement and analytics, and was recently honored with a Great Mind Award from the Advertising Research Foundation and featured in Fast Company and Forbes as one of 12 women driving digital in New York. Tania was also named by Cynopsis Media as a Top Woman in Digital.