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Making the most of social media

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Making the most of social media

“I can hardly think of an area right now in digital publishing that can fill a publisher with greater excitement and angst than social media,” says Constantine Kamaras, Vice Chairman, of Greece's 24 Media.

24 Media is Greece’s largest digital publisher both in terms of users and revenues, he says. The company is made up of 20 brands, visited by 6 million unique browsers on a monthly basis as measured by Nielsen.

The content offering is built around five clusters: Premium sports; News and lifestyle; Technology; Social; and Passion (clubs).

Mr. Kamaras says the company’s policy is to focus on using Facebook and Twitter with a primary aim of boosting traffic (unique browsers, sessions-per-user, ad inventory) and a secondary aim of deepening engagement.

24 Media also uses social media platforms to monitor user response and feedback, thereby adding an extra market research tool.

These include article/story teasers – ideally with photo, videos with pre-rolls are posted in full to maximize views, and there is strong emphasis on direct-response content competitions and advertising offers.

“User comments are monitored, but we rarely intervene,” says Mr. Kamaras.

He adds that 24 Media has found it best to use Twitter for breaking news, and that for them, Twitter is best during the week, while Facebook works best on weekends. “The best days for us to post is Thursday followed by Friday,” says Mr. Kamaras, though he adds that might be only true for Greece.

He says 24 Media makes a strong engagement drive through gauging opinions, regular polls, Facebook quizzes, etc. And also does extensive cross-promotion by using social media accounts with a network concept through posts, retweets from other 24 Media brands.

Integrating social media functionality and measuring responses has been critical to results, Mr. Kamaras says.

In terms of resources, he says they have a full-time social media and there is ongoing training of editors about social media use in the publishing process. A group chief editor and brand editors handle the daily updates through a regular editing process, and each shift has a dedicated editor for social media content.

Mr. Kamaras offers these results:
-Total network fans: close to 650,000 Facebook fans (from a basis of 6 million unique browsers)
-Total network followers: 104,847
-Social media referrals: Network average of 16.4 percent.

Social media referrals have become quite important, he says, and adds that the ratio of fans/followers to monthly unique browsers gets higher when the brand is more vertical.

Mr. Kamaras says monetizing is difficult due to the “closed ecosystem of Facebook.”

He then asks: “What are our choices? To have our content consumed more and more on Facebook? Or do we want to take the approach of taking it away from Facebook and trying to bring them back to our properties? It’s a very, very big issue … There is something there for us (with Facebook and others) but it’s far, far less than what we could possibly do on the open web,” Mr. Kamaras says.

Author

Brian Veseling's picture

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-03-02 22:31

Author information

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