Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report Tracks Activity for 222 Brands on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest Using Exclusive Data
National Geographic, ESPN The Magazine, Time, The Economist and Vogue Boast Largest Social Media Followings in Industry
Industry Shows 7 Percent Overall Growth in First Quarter
New York, NY (April 15, 2015) – The MPA Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report covering first quarter 2015, released today by MPA – The Association of Magazine Media, revealed a 7% growth in social media likes/followers across magazine media brands on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest. The report is based on data provided by SocialFlow, exclusively for MPA.
The only media industry to capture and report brands’ social media performance across networks, the data shows that affiliation with magazine media brands continues to grow on the five social networks measured. Key takeaways include:
- Of the social networks measured, Instagram showed the highest rate of growth in followers for magazine media brands at 18%, with The Economist, Recoil and Bloomberg Businessweek showing the largest percent growth over the period on that network.
- In terms of absolute growth, magazine media brands added 10.3 million new Twitter Followers during the first quarter, the most new followers of any social network, with ESPN The Magazine, National Geographic and The Economist topping the list with the biggest Twitter followings.
- In terms of absolute size, Facebook continues to dominate across all of the networks with National Geographic, Playboy and ESPN The Magazine having the most Facebook Page Likes.
- Certain editorial categories had faster-than-average growth rates in share of likes/followers for specific networks: Health/Fitness saw a 6.2% growth on Twitter; Science/Technology grew 4.7% on Google+; while on Instagram, Luxury grew 15.3% and Travel grew 27.6%.
The report, which incorporates data from 35 companies, tallies certain measures of social media for the period ended March 31, 2015 and reports changes by network and magazine brand compared to the period ended December 31, 2014 for Facebook Page Likes, Twitter Followers, Google+ Followers, Instagram Followers and Pinterest Followers.
Top 10 Magazine Brands—Likes/Followers (as of March 31, 2015)
ESPN The Magazine
The Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report complements MPA’s Magazine Media 360° Brand Audience Report, which was introduced in September 2014 to capture and report magazine media reach across platforms and formats, a first for any media industry.
Commenting on the Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report, Mary G. Berner, president and chief executive officer of MPA – The Association of Magazine Media noted, “When we set out to establish digital and social media metrics, we knew that we were exploring uncharted waters. While there is still no broad agreement on what actually matters in social media, insights gleaned from this report can be valuable in gauging the efficiency of our strategies and investments in reaching our audience. With notable growth across all networks and brands, the report clearly demonstrates that consumers are enthusiastically interacting with magazine media brands on social platforms.”
About the MPA Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report
The MPA Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report captures consumer affiliation with magazine brands via social media platforms. The report includes social media statistics for approximately 220 magazine media brands from 35 companies. Data are collected by SocialFlow for five key social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.
SocialFlow is the next generation enterprise social platform, built around the objective of gaining audience attention on social networks. As increasing quantities of content compete for consumer attention, publishers and their advertisers need more effective, data-driven approaches to their social publishing. SocialFlow dramatically improves the delivery of content to consumers’ feeds across multiple social networks, delivering significant increases in audience attention.
MPA – The Association of Magazine Media is the primary advocate and voice for the magazine media industry, driving thought leadership and game-changing strategies to promote the industry’s vitality and increase its revenues and market share. Established in 1919, MPA represents 200 domestic, associate and international members. MPA is headquartered in New York City, with a government affairs office in Washington, D.C.
1. What is the Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report?
The Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report captures consumer affiliation with magazine brands via social media platforms. The report includes social media statistics for approximately 220 brands from 35 companies. Data are collected by SocialFlow (a social media agency) for the five key social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.
2. What are you measuring?
We are reporting total Facebook Page Likes, Twitter Followers, Google+ Followers, Instagram Followers and Pinterest Followers. These are the number of people who have opted in to receive messages (posts, tweets or pins) from that particular social entity (page or handle). For Pinterest, this is a total of those following any or all “boards” on the publisher’s page. It should be noted that followers and page likes are not a measurement of people who will see any publisher communication, but rather the number of people who have the potential to see the communication in their feed.
We are calculating growth in number or % of page likes/followers defined as follows: the absolute or % difference between total number of page likes/followers at the beginning of the quarter and the total number of page likes/followers at the end of the quarter.
Additional metrics, such as publisher posts, shares and other consumer engagement metrics are being evaluated for inclusion in future reports.
3. What are your sources and methodology?
Social media statistics for participating magazine brands are gathered at the end of every month by SocialFlow for five key social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest). A comparison of the data at the beginning and end of the quarter is used to derive the quarterly change. SocialFlow collects and tabulates data using the public APIs (Application Program Interface) of the networks (with the exception of Pinterest, whose data is pulled manually, as that network does not currently have a publically available API).
4. Which magazine media handles or related accounts are considered eligible for the Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report?
This report captures statistics for the primary magazine brand social media accounts as identified on the magazine brand’s website (as opposed to individual editor and writer accounts) of participating MPA members. In future reports we intend to broaden our data set to include statistics on additional social media URLs and profiles that relate to the primary magazine brand.
5. Don’t a title's editors and writers often have more social media impact than the brand handles? Why not include them?
Editors certainly contribute substantially to social media efforts; however, at the moment, we are focusing on the primary accounts (as linked from each brand’s website).
6. How many magazine brands are represented in this report?
More than 220 brands from 35 companies.
7. Tell me more about SocialFlow?
SocialFlow is the next-generation enterprise social platform, built around the objective of gaining audience attention on social networks. As increasing quantities of content compete for consumer attention, publishers and their advertisers need more effective, data-driven approaches to their social publishing. SocialFlow dramatically improves the delivery of content to consumers' feeds across multiple social networks, delivering significant increases in audience attention.
8. Is this the most accurate and up to date measure of social media?
In the wild west of social media, where things are changing minute by minute, there is currently no standard currency or common (industry-wide) metric to evaluate social media reach or effectiveness. The Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report captures certain key topline measures of social activity but we expect to adapt these metrics as the industry evolves. Currently the (SocialFlow) data tracks and reports total Facebook Page Likes, Twitter Followers, Google+ Followers, Instagram Followers and Pinterest Followers.
9. The overall stats for each individual network are sometimes huge. Do they actually have meaning?
When viewed in the context of quarter to quarter change, the numbers do provide directional insight into the growing presence of and consumer interaction with magazine brands in the various social media networks.
10. How is the social media data useful, since it can be driven by both positive and negative news of the day or content?
Social media is, by nature, highly topical and often news-driven. It represents an opportunity for publishers’ social media content editors to drive additional traffic and engagement when they post articles that are relevant to that topical conversation. All magazine brands have an equal opportunity to take advantage of this inherently viral aspect of social media.
11. How can the data be monetized?
Social media enables magazine media publishers to connect with their audiences and create a conversation around their brands and its content. It is still early days in terms of monetizing those conversations, but social media can be a powerful tool to deepen the relationship with engaged consumers. It also provides the opportunity to redirect them back to a brand’s site/print magazine - content vehicles which are both monetized through advertising and/or subscriptions.
12. Aren’t shares the most meaningful measurement?
Sharing (the extent to which users exchange or distribute content) is one measurement of consumer response to publishers’ posts. Like other social media metrics, measuring sharing as a tool to understand current or future business performance remains the subject of an ongoing debate in the social media space. In addition, the specific consumer actions associated with sharing are also very particular to each platform which is why common, cross-network metrics have yet to be defined.
13. How significant are fans and followers as a measure of success of a social page?
Fans and followers are only one measure and are incomplete in and of themselves. Additional metrics are being evaluated for inclusion in future reports.
14. How are you addressing the large number of non-human social media accounts that will obviously skew and inflate the data?
It is true that the number of page likes and/or followers attached to the various social media networks do not necessarily equate to the same number of individual human accounts. Each of the social media platforms is addressing fraudulent traffic in its own way. MPA is not currently filtering the data to avoid potentially fraudulent or duplicative accounts. Again, the purpose of the Social Media Report is to provide directional visibility into publishers’ social media activity.
15. Why are the Google+ numbers so large?
Up until recently, any user of Gmail was also required to create a Google+ account. While this requirement has since been removed, the size of the Google+ network has been attributed in part to this earlier practice.
16. How frequently will you release the Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report?
Our current plan is to release the Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report on a quarterly basis.