• audience development

Social Media Distribution Tips for News and Media Publishers

Last updated on Apr 17, 2024

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Social Media Distribution Tips for News and Media Publishers

Social platforms like Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube, etc., have become a source of information to access recent happenings and trends. Users are drawn to interesting content - be it news, stories, gossip, etc.,

In fact, a recent survey reported that 48% of Americans get news from social media. While another survey hinted that, 33% of British adults (out of 5890 respondents) consume news on social media.

The high percentage of the audience accessing news from social media is significant and requires digital publishers to leverage social platforms for audience development.

If you’re a growing media outlet, news channel, or digital publisher trying to establish your brand presence, we've compiled a list of social media distribution tips to help increase your exposure.

Why Simply Posting a Tweet and a Post on Instagram Is Not Enough?

Managing social media channels is a time-consuming task. Hence, many publishers link articles or post the same content across Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube, and Facebook.

However, each platform has a distinguished audience that consumes content in different formats. Hence, following these social media best practices can help garner audience attention.

1. Stand out from the crowd

A significant amount of content is flooding social media platforms every day. So, repeating the same information as everyone else will not pique anyone’s interest.

As the user's attention span is declining gradually, you need to use compelling storytelling, solid hooks, and credible information paired with engaging visuals to stop the scroll.

For example, publishers such as The New York Times and The Economic Times use attention-grabbing hooks to reel viewers to watch the entire content.

Social Media Distribution Tips for News Publishers-2Credit: NY Times, Instagram

As you publish quality content consistently, it will help you gain viewer trust and credibility, which will boost content performance and gradually increase your follower count.

2. Competing content

Social media is the home ground of influencers and content creators. For emerging publishers, initially establishing a competitive edge against well-established social media pages can be challenging.

All popular social media platforms have an infinite amount of content. If you want viewers to pause the scroll and watch your content, you need to go beyond the age-old practice of merely sharing article links or using clickbait.

Some foolproof methods to grab your viewers’ attention are posting engaging creatives, concise tweets, and visually captivating short videos paired with compelling hooks.

For instance, media channels like The New York Times, The Economic Times, and Brut.India uses attention-demanding hooks to stop viewers from scrolling. Here is a quick example.

Social Media Distribution Tips for News Publisher2Credit: Brut.India Instagram

Each snippet or visual should be carefully curated to resonate with the audience and leave a lasting impression, compelling them to delve deeper into the full content.

Also Read: Social Media Copyright Guide For Publishers

3. Leverage social media features

Platforms like Instagram and Facebook provide exclusive features such as story reactions, polls, highlights, broadcast channels, etc., to help users engage with content quickly.

However, all these features are not leveraged effectively by publishers. If you aim to build an active follower base or community, these tools can help keep your audience engaged.

For instance, IndianExpress organized all the G20 Summit-related content in the Instagram highlight section. People keenly following the G20 summit can easily access the updates without manually scrolling through the feed to find recent happenings amidst daily news.

Social Media Distribution Tips for News Publishers-1Credit: Indian Express, Instagram

StartSports sets an ideal example for entertainment media channels on how to garner sports enthusiasts' attention. As the Asia Cup has been the talk of the town recently, they posted a series of compelling quizzes on their Instagram stories to gamify their viewer's experiences.

Social Media Distribution Tips for News Publishers

Additionally, using reaction or question stickers while sharing a post or reel in the Instagram story allows the viewers to share their opinions.

You can also frame an encouraging Call to Action (CTA) like “Drop your opinions below” or “Share your thoughts in the comments” at the end of every social media post to drive more engagement and reach.

Instead of just resharing a post in your stories, attempt to initiate a conversation about a hot topic or provide easy interaction opportunities. This gives viewers a reason to actively engage with your content.

4. Community is greater than Followers

Follower count is not the ideal metric to gauge success on social media platforms. A majority of pages on Instagram have over 10,000 followers, but they rarely get any engagement on their handles.

It is essential to prioritize building a community of active users rather than merely increasing followers. Actively engaging with the audience will fuel your growth for longer compared to inactive followers.

In the initial stages, focus on building professional relationships with fellow content creators, expanding your network, and engaging with your audience in the comments. Users will likely become loyal followers when you value their efforts and contributions.

Also Read: Top 6 Social Media Plugins for News Publishers Using WordPress

What Should News Publishers Do to Grab Eyeballs on Social Media?

Information overload on various social platforms has made it increasingly challenging to captivate audiences amidst the noise.

As a digital publisher, following some fundamental practices is necessary to stand out from the competition and drive traffic to your social media channels. Here are five foolproof techniques that can boost your social media growth.

1. Tailor Content to the Social Media Platform

There is a common misconception that content distribution is about publishing the same content on different platforms. However, each social media platform is designed uniquely.

Even though all channels support text- and video-based content, it is essential to re-design content to suit the interface of each platform.

For instance, posting a landscape video on Instagram that was originally created for YouTube might not look engaging enough to watch.

Instagram is a scroll-friendly platform, so users expect short yet visually compelling portrait videos. So, consider tailoring your content according to the social platform.

If you want to grow consistently on each social media channel, investing time and creating custom-made content that suits each platform is mandatory.

2. Use Native Options While Posting

Before planning to use different social media channels to increase your traffic, it’s best to understand the standard practices of all the targeted platforms.

Gone are the days when linking an article in the story or the first comment would redirect the readers to websites. Nowadays, people are drawn toward snackable content.

Hence, it is high time to publish compelling and visually appealing content that grabs your target audience's attention.

For instance, instead of linking to an article in a LinkedIn post, summarize it in a carousel and promote your article at the end.

Similarly, here is a real-time example of how Brut India is using Instagram stories to promote their content.

Social Media Distribution Tips for News Publishers-3

Generally, vlogs and sneak peeks perform well on Instagram and YouTube. Considering this format and the recent G20 Summit happenings, the Brut.India team curated an entertaining reel content.

Not to be overlooked, the Instagram story only supports 60 seconds of videos. Hence, users have to visit the reel to see the full video. That’s why sharing your recent content to the story can help you redirect your viewers to the original post.

Even if your followers missed the post in the feed, they can find the content in the story and stay updated.

Another ideal example is that instead of adding links to your Twitter post, publish a video or create a thread and add a thought-provoking question as a CTA to initiate conversation.

Over time, you will find the best content format that works on different platforms depending on user engagement.

3. Know Your Audience

As mentioned earlier, users on different social media channels respond to varied types of content. Hence, you need to spend time understanding your target audience's preferences.

A simple competitor content audit will provide you with valuable insights. You can analyze their channel, find well-performing content, and dissect its format, structure, and deliverability to know what works in each platform.

For instance, X(formerly Twitter) is a conversation-centric platform. Users exchange their opinions, hot takes and initiate conversations within the space. In this case, posting thought-provoking questions or proposing an interesting topic can drive engagement.

In contrast, such X (formerly Twitter) content may not perform well on Instagram as users are more inclined toward sharable video content.

4. Give Social Team a Head Start

Creating content for social media is time-consuming, and mediocre content can’t gain the audience's attention anymore. Hence, spending time creating visuals, writing engaging copies, and performing extensive research becomes non-negotiable.

Simply posting the same content across different platforms or copy-pasting content in the name of repurposing will not help you grow a loyal audience base.

Hence, hiring experts like copywriters, graphic designers, and social media managers can save hours of work, post quality content, and maintain consistency.

Especially when running a media channel, sharing breaking news on different social media platforms in real time can be challenging. That’s why building a solid team in the initial stages can be highly beneficial in the long run.

5. Distribution Calendar to Maintain Consistency

As you start creating content regularly, creating a distribution calendar helps you stay organized and schedule content easily.

Starting to post on social media is just the first step. Publishing quality long-form content consistently is the actual game. It is the only way to build a brand online and grow it over time.

One of the perks of managing a distribution calendar is that it allows you to analyze the performance of each content piece to know what worked in the past. It also helps you measure your content production efforts.

This process will help you know if you need to change your strategy or if it’s just a matter of time and consistency until you reach your content goal.

By following these five fundamental tips, along with the best practices, you can gradually expand your follower base and build a community of loyal audiences.

Also Read: Top 8 AI-Powered Tools for Social Media Managers

What Should be Your Next Steps as a Publisher

Nowadays, social media is the go-to source for seeking information about everything. It allows us to connect globally and have all the information at our fingertips.

As a growing digital publisher, it's high time to tap into this vast audience base and establish your brand earlier.

If you’re planning to create content, starting as early as possible is best. Even if you do not have the budget to afford a content team, you can start with the most relevant platform and then expand to other channels as you scale up.

Remember, social media is an ever-evolving platform. Hence, staying updated on the latest trends is always beneficial. You can consider signing up for our newsletter to get instant updates delivered directly to your inbox.

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Vaishnavi Ramkumar
Vaishnavi Ramkumar
Vaishnavi Ramkumar is a freelance content writer and marketer specializing in creating TOFU & BOFU content for SaaS brands. When she's not writing, you can find her immersed in the pages of a good book or a digital course.

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