News & Opinion

The Telegraph uses social media to attract new audiences

The publication sets its sights on converting Instagram and Snapchat followers into subscribers.

Platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram allows the news brand to monitor the activity of news readers - particularly younger audiences - to uncover the content they like, in the hope of encouraging them to subscribe to the paper.

Head of social at The Telegraph Beth Ashton commented: “There are a lot of different things at play, a deeper look at user journeys are the obvious next step. What the payoff will be is still pretty unknown; it’s about engaging people and introducing them to our content, which may be different from what they expect from us.”

Instagram allows the publication to track the impact posts have on the number of paying subscriptions through article links in the profile’s biography. The platform’s follower count has doubled in the past year and 53% of the followed are under the age of 34. The surge in followers has been attributed to the shift in stories to include more lifestyle and culture.

Unlike other publications, The Telegraph doesn’t create original social media content but repackages what they have. Stories for example, are often accompanied by context and an explanation of its importance. One example highlighted in an article in Digiday is the obituary of John Humble who pretended to be the Yorkshire Ripper. The publication’s post on Instagram provided readers with context, background and featured the audio phone calls that played a central role in the case.

“This isn’t how we’d normally do an obit but we felt that it was important to contextualise the story for this specific audience”, Ashton added. “This content is from the story; it’s just not necessarily in this order but includes the infamous call and then explaining why it was so significant”.

Instagram is popular among younger audience, but Snapchat’s Discover channel is the most successful way The Telegraph reaches young people. The channel receives an average of 1 million daily views, half of which are between the ages of 18-24. In addition to monitoring the consumer journey, it monitors dwell time and top-snap conversion rates and uses this information to fuel content strategies and tactics.

Across all YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the news brand has 8.2 million followers. In an effort to drive subscriptions, Ashton says there is a still some way to go to convert readers to subscribers.

Source: Digiday


by Hannah Ohm Thomas 04/09/19

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