Industry Insights

Better understanding of social media will lead to better results


Often media companies treat all social media channels the same. They post the same content the same way on each channel, often using a service that automatically makes the posts. The best strategy for social media for your business is one that is tailored to the platform you’re using.

The hottest and most-used platform right now is TikTok. According to app-monitoring firm App Annie, it surpassed YouTube in U.S. users in April of 2021. It’s also the most downloaded app worldwide since 2020. It’s full of Generation Z users who want to access news — but want it in different ways. Consumers say the content is authentic and that's what they like about it.

YouTube took a page from TikTok’s book earlier this year by offering YouTube Shorts. The videos can be 15 seconds or less, and it's intended for use through the mobile app. But some people still prefer YouTube for their longer-form videos. According to FortuneLords, almost 5 million videos are watched every day, 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute and more than 30 million daily users are on the platform.

Facebook is an emotion-based platform, and the algorithms reward emotion. When publishing to Facebook, a media company should strive to engage with the reader and provoke a reaction, positive or negative. The Facebook algorithm rewards feeds containing posts with consistently high engagement and dings feeds containing a mixed bag of posts (some posts with high engagement, some with no engagement). Earlier this year, a What’s New in Publishing article said that posts with images receive two to three times the shares compared to posts without images.

Instagram, which Facebook owns, has 60% of its users under the age of 35. The content features videos, images and viral content. Much of that content is designed to be interactive. For example, Instagram content often takes the form of a question or a poll — or a video designed to be replayed and shared.

Twitter as primarily a platform for journalists and news junkies. Here, be short and sweet and deliver your links. But most importantly, tag, tag and tag. When you tag on Twitter, that creates the possibility that the person and/or organization you tag will like and retweet your tweet and expand your reach. In addition, keep tabs on trending hashtags related to your messaging.

LinkedIn is a business-to-business social media platform that has enormous potential for your media business, particularly with advertisers. Most business owners are on LinkedIn. Invite business owners in your area to follow your LinkedIn page and post helpful tips for businesses regarding marketing and other business-related topics. Finally, tag particular business owners or business organizations to increase your post’s reach and develop stronger relationships with those owners and organizations.

The best social media channel depends on what you want to achieve. But one thing is for sure — you must be authentic within the platform. No matter who the audience is, you should be true to your brand identity. And if you continue to analyze your data in each format, you will get a first-hand look at what is working and what is not.

A one-size-fits-all approach to social media channels will do little to increase your site traffic or social media presence. Instead, an approach that caters to each platform and its audience will be far more successful.

Michael Shapiro is the founder and CEO of, a network of 80+ franchised online local news sites in New Jersey, New York and Florida.  These sites often represent the only daily news source in their respective communities.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here