Social media and TV news: Measuring social media success

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 27 September 2008

Over the last week I've been publishing a series of articles looking at the social media performance of the websites belonging to some 24 hour news channels, including CNN, the BBC, Sky News, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, Euronews and France 24.

Social media sites

The results have been derived from a thirty day study I carried out in July and August 2008, taking half-hourly snapshots of Delicious, Digg, Fark, Mixx, Newsvine, Reddit, StumbleUpon and Yahoo! Buzz to look for prominent media URLs.

Social Media Icons

CNN and the BBC ahead of the pack

In this area CNN and the BBC towered over the other news sources. 377 CNN stories became popular on social bookmarking sites during my study. The BBC site offered 341 popular URLs. These URLs featured across all of the social media sites in the study, although no BBC content appeared on Yahoo! Buzz. This is most likely due to the fact that during the time I was collecting the data, Yahoo! Buzz was in a beta stage where it was only focussing on stories from the US media.

Yahoo! Buzz

Modest success for Sky, Al Jazeera and Russia Today

The performance of Sky News, Al Jazeera and Russia Today was at a much lower level, with 11, 7 and 5 URLs respectively appearing in the study. Al Jazeera was most successful on Reddit, with popular URLs also featuring on Newsvine and Mixx. Russia Today's popular stories were all displayed on Reddit. Sky News appeared on a broader range of sites including Digg and Fark, and was most successful as a 'top seed' 7 times on Newsvine.

Newsvine Top Seeds

News TV on social media

This table illustrates where news TV station URLs appeared on social media websites between July 15th and August 14th 2008. It indicates both the number of links recorded as being popular on a service, and whether the website in question had sharing 'buttons' or icons for that service.

News TV on Social Media
 ServiceAljazeeraBBC NewsCNNEuronewsFrance 24Russia TodaySky News
Delicious icon Delicious Delicious button        Delicious button  24    Delicious button   9    No share button        Delicious button        Delicious button        Delicious button       
Digg icon Digg Digg button        Digg button  39    Digg button  74    No share button        Digg button        No share button        Digg button   1   
Fark icon Fark No share button        No share button  53    No share button  62    No share button        No share button        No share button        No share button   2   
Mixx icon Mixx No share button   1    No share button  74    Mixx button 104    No share button        No share button        No share button        No share button   1   
Newsvine Newsvine Newsvine button   2    No share button  86    No share button  63    No share button        No share button        No share button        Newsvine button   7   
Reddit icon Reddit Reddit button   4    Reddit button  45    Reddit button  23    No share button        Reddit button        No share button   5    Reddit button       
StumbleUpon icon StumbleUpon No share button        Stumbleupon button  20    Stumbleupon button   4    No share button        StumbleUpon button        No share button        StumbleUpon button       
Yahoo! Buzz icon Yahoo! Buzz No share button        No share button        No share button  38    No share button        No share button        No share button        No share button       
No icon Total No share button    7 No share button 341    No share button 377    No share button   0    No share button   0    No share button   5    No share button  11   

Next...

I'm currently in Amsterdam for the Euro IA summit, but there will be more on currybetdotnet about social bookmarking and UK media sites over the coming weeks.

Keep up to date on my new blog