“Thousands” of journalists have signed up for Facebook Subscribe since it launched last September, according to a report released by Facebook Wednesday. Subscribe is a feature that allows Facebook users to follow the public status updates of other users without sending a friend request.
The report, which was authored by Facebook journalism program manager (and Mashable alum) Vadim Lavrusik and Facebook data analyst Betsy Cameron, doesn’t disclose any traffic referral numbers, but it does offer some tips on how journalists can best take advantage of the feature.
Based on analysis of 25 journalists, the company found the following types of content generated more engagement:
Commentary and Analysis.
Commentary and analysis on breaking news and other timely subjects receive three times the likes and twice the shares of the average post. Controversial material can double engagement, as well.
Reader Shout-outs. Calling out readers can up engagement by fourfold. Asking for recommendations tends to inspire three times the normal amount of comments.
Photos. On average, powerful and behind-the-scenes footage increase engagement by two and four times, respectively.
Humor. Humor, which Lavrusik and Cameron suggest shows the “lighter and more personal side of the journalist,” also results in higher engagement. Posts with humor tend to receive a fivefold increase in shares.
It also matters how journalists frame their posts. Posts accompanied by a question receive 64% more comments, likes and shares on average. Those that are introduced with analysis receive 20% more referral clicks, and those with photos receive 50% more likes than posts without. Call-to-action messaging is effective, as well: Posts that contain a call to action, such as “read my link,” or “check out my interview with” receive 37% more engagement than the average post.
Speaking personally, Subscribe has been a great way to tap into a much larger audience than I’ve found on other social networks. On Twitter, the network on which I am most active, I have about 8,500 followers and am lucky if something I tweet gets five responses. On Facebook, I’ve somewhat bewilderingly amassed a subscriber base of 130,000, and a single link averages about 300 likes and hundreds of comments. Those are great numbers, but there’s something to be said for the quality of the audience: I find that I usually need to provide more context for the articles I link to and my profile is frequently spammed, much to the frustration of my subscribers.
If you’re a journalist using Facebook, or someone who subscribes to a journalist on Facebook, we’d love to hear what is and isn’t working for you.
BONUS: 5 Top Celebrities to Subscribe to on Facebook
Oh, you know, Jessica just shared her photo album with me. No biggie.
Actress Alba's subscribe updates range from concert photos to complaints about her husband (don't get too excited, guys -- they're harmless). She talks about heading to the gym (like she needs it) and explaining the word "ugly" to her daughter.
All in all, a very rich and comprehensive look into the wholesome world of a movie star.