Webedia’s 5-Step Process to Maximizing the Branded Content Filter in CrowdTangle

By Carlin Scrudato, CrowdTangle Partnerships

CrowdTangle helps many audience development and social media strategists optimize their organic posting strategy — but hiding under the “More” filter in your Facebook dashboards lies a powerful tool for sales teams and analysts: the Branded Content filter. Webedia Brasil, a powerhouse publishing company behind AdoroCinema.com, one of the biggest movie sites in Latin America, shared their strategies with us. Below, Antoine Clauzel, who until recently was the social media director for Webedia Brasil (now managing director of AdoroCinema), gives us the rundown on how they use CrowdTangle for sales.



Inside The Local News Subscriptions Accelerator: 10 Email Marketing Tips

By Tim Griggs, Project Director, Local News Subscriptions Accelerator 

Executives from 14 U.S. metro news publishers gathered at Facebook New York on March 28th and 29th to learn and share best practices for building and growing digital subscriptions, as part of the 3-month Facebook Journalism Project: Local News Subscriptions Accelerator. The first of the three in-person sessions focused on foundations, including: setting and aligning goals across the enterprise, embracing audience-first discipline, organizing teams and processes, and optimizing existing marketing channels.

Over the next three months we’ll be sharing lessons, ideas and inspiration from these gatherings. To start, we’re posting some tips and tactics about one of the most important arrows in the subscriber acquisition quiver: Email.



Brut is Seeing Phenomenal Growth — They Say It’s Because of CrowdTangle

This case study is about a company that has been in existence for less than 18 months and has doubled in Page size every six months during that period. In mid-2017, the Facebook team documented how they went from 0 to 80 million video views in their first half year in business. Since then, they’ve launched new pages across three countries and have more than tripled their monthly total video views to 310 million as of April 2018.

Brut. Ever hear of them?

The France-based digital media outlet, which covers a range of news and human interest topics, has seen some rocket ship growth over the last year, and they credit CrowdTangle. Their strategic use of CrowdTangle has helped them achieve explosive growth, rollouts in the U.S., UK, and India, and has equipped them to succeed after Facebook’s new “Meaningful Social Interactions” News Feed changes.

Over the last year, CrowdTangle has partnered with Brut and helped them with their social strategy. Early in the partnership they were growing rapidly in the French market, and were audaciously looking to become one of the biggest video news Pages on Facebook, but were competing with brands that had much deeper social media footholds.

Brut did have one thing to their advantage — a hyper-engaged Facebook following. We recommended they zero-in on this active community using CrowdTangle’s Interaction Rate as a metric to help them understand what type of content their community wanted, and what would keep those followers engaged.

“What we always prioritized at Brut was audience over traffic,” Brut CEO Guillaume Lacroix says. “We wanted to establish a strong link with the audience, to start conversation. We didn’t want to just do video.”

Brut’s Director of Business Development Luc Ryan-Schreiber adds: “Interaction Rate has really helped us focus on meaningful content that speaks to our audience. It’s not just trying to get a cheap view with clickbait. We need to create stories that motivate people to discuss, comment, like and share.”

So what is Interaction Rate?

Interaction Rate in CrowdTangle’s system is a metric calculated by averaging the number of interactions for all of the account’s posts in the specified time frame, then dividing that by the number of followers/fans. Interaction Rate is ultimately used as a proxy metric for community engagement.

Audience engagement of course is a clear indication that followers of a page value the content that is being shared, and want more.

“Mid 2017 is where we really focused on Interaction rate,” Guillaume says. “In the beginning we were not that interested because our Pages were so small that it seemed that our high rate was just because of our size. As soon as we grew and passed the 100k, 200k, 300k mark we realized that we were continuing to outperform with Interaction Rate on all our pages. Engagement was leading to growth, and we started to take Interaction Rate more seriously.”

What happened to Brut when they hit high Interaction Rate numbers?

“We definitely noticed that our views — our main metric of success — started to out-perform,” Guillaume says.

“Suddenly we were overtaking the competition — Business Insider, Mic, Mashable, and all the French media we competed against. We realized through CrowdTangle that we were doing even better than expected.”

“The next thing we noticed is that the best way to recruit people [to our page] was not views. High engagement meant high page growth,” Luc says.

“Interaction Rate made us focus on our core business, which wasn’t video views, but starting convo,” Guillaume says. “Editorially we focused more on these high Interaction Rate stories. The real value is engagement.”

“Now Engagement is even more important a metric for us than views,” Guillaume says.

The “Aha Moment”

“In late 2017, we experimented with a feature story on French politician Simone Veil and the Interaction Rate was through the roof,” Luc says. “We tested this feature story format again and again, specifically around engagement. And it became one of our strongest formats.”

“We started to develop the series after this, and each time it worked. Now we have a journalist who only does these ‘Une Vie’ (‘a life’) features and it is one of our best performing areas, often breaching the 1 million mark in video views,” Luc adds.

Brut launched new pages in the U.S., UK and India using this strategy

Brut’s success with their French page led to a global rollout across three other countries a year after they had launched. Their CrowdTangle strategy has led to huge organic page growth, and they continue to outperform most other digital publishers in the space when it comes to Interaction Rate.

“Since January 1st our American page has grown from around 220k followers to around 650k,” Guillaume says. “We were able to go from 30 million monthly views to 110 monthly views in just over a month in the U.S. We credit our CrowdTangle strategy.”


Brut and the evolving Facebook News Feed

Because Brut has put a premium on engagement, Guillaume says he feels like they’re well equipped to navigate Facebook’s recent News Feed changes, which emphasize meaningful interactions.

“For us, the News Feed change has been an opportunity. We are thriving because of the change. With the exact same pages we had before, we’re just growing, growing, growing,” Guillaume says.

“You cannot create engagement if it’s not meaningful.”


“The best thing I’ve learned at Brut a year in is that the best recipe for engagement is intelligent content. if you have smart content, you win. People interact with good, smart content. We see almost 90% of our reach is coming from friends sharing content with each other.”

“We will continue to use Interaction Rate to make sure we are building content that engages,” Guillaume says. “We were focused on interaction rate before the change, which we believe has us helped us weather the changes early on and continue to grow our views and interactions even after the change.”

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Inside the Local News Subscriptions Accelerator: Recap from the NYC Kickoff

By Dorrine Mendoza, News Partnerships

On March 28th and 29th, Facebook New York hosted 42 executives from 14 metro news publishers for the start of the The Facebook Journalism Project: Local News Subscriptions Accelerator, a pilot program, which includes hands-on workshops, a grantmaking program organized by The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, and regular reports authored by The Lenfest Institute and The Facebook Journalism Project.

Over the course of three months, the Accelerator will focus on helping metro newspapers take their digital subscription business to a new level.

Working with program coaches, publishers will then design individual projects that tackle their unique business needs. Grant funding will empower each publisher to implement solutions that help elevate their digital subscription business. We’ll be sharing learnings and case studies from the accelerator as they happen and publishers start putting their strategies into action.



Spotlight on Local News: NCAA Basketball Tournament

By Rebecca Rosenblat, News Partnerships

Local news publishers across the country use Facebook to deepen their relationships with readers by sharing the stories that matter most to their community. This month, we highlight how local outlets have covered the men’s and women’s NCAA tournament so far, including a variety of unique Live coverage and inspiring videos.



Spotlight on Local News: “March for Our Lives” Through a Local Lens

By Silvana Ordoñez, News Partnerships 

Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States gathered for the March for Our Lives last weekend. The student-led march, which took place five weeks after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, became a big national story.

Using CrowdTangle, we compiled some high-performing posts, most of which were video and photos, from the march posted on Facebook. These posts sparked a lot conversations on our platform and generated lots of reactions.

Here’s how local news outlets covered this story through a local lens.



Bringing Local News Section, Today In, to More US Cities

By Anthea Watson Strong, Local News Product Manager

Earlier this year we started testing a dedicated section on Facebook that connects people to news and information about their community, called Today In. We have seen a positive response from people and are expanding this test into 25 more US cities over the next few weeks:

Anderson, SC; Bismarck, ND; Bloomington, IL; Boise, ID; Charleston, WV; Chattanooga, TN; Columbia, SC; Decatur, IL; Franklin, TN; Evansville, IN; Greensboro, NC; Greenville, SC; Huntsville, AL; Poughkeepsie, NY; Lafayette, LA; Lakeland, FL; Macon, GA; Myrtle Beach, SC; Santa Rosa, CA; Sarasota, FL; Saint Joseph, MO; San Angelo, TX; Shreveport, LA; Tyler, TX; York, PA

If you live in one of these cities, you can find this new section in the Facebook app by tapping the menu (☰) and then tapping on “Today In.”



PBS NewsHour and The New York Times Team Up for Now Read This: A Monthly Book Club in Facebook Groups

By Beth Loyd, News Partnerships

For more than a year, PBS NewHour reporter Elizabeth Flock had wanted to start a book club. Her audience loved reading, and Flock wanted to use discussions around topical books as a way to form a tighter-knit NewsHour community. After considering several options, PBS reached out to Pamela Paul, the editor of The New York Times Book Review, and together they launched the Now Read This Facebook group in January, 2018.

Over the course of three months, Now Read This has already grown to more than 50 thousand members. Flock has already seen members meet up in person to have discussions about the book over dinner. Editors and critics from The New York Times and PBS reporters take questions from the group through Facebook Live, and jump into the comments to interact with readers. And each month, PBS NewsHour broadcasts an interview with the book’s author and sources questions directly from the community.

We talked with Elizabeth Flock about why she started the group, how PBS and The New York Times facilitate discussion over the course of a month, and the most surprising ways this engaged and thoughtful community has grown.


Spotlight on Local News: The Boston Globe Uses Groups to Build Meaningful Dialogue About Race in Boston

By Silvana Ordoñez, News Partnerships

In December 2017, the Boston Globe decided to take on one difficult question: Is Boston a racist city?

The paper’s Spotlight team attempted to answer this through a seven-part series covering such topics as racism in Boston sports and the disparity in access to quality health care between black and white Bostonians. The team didn’t want the conversation to stop at publication, and sought to engage Bostonians in an ongoing conversation about race that lasted well beyond the series. That’s how the Discussing Race in Boston Facebook Group was born.

In only two months, more than 3,600 members have joined the group, and it’s helped achieve the paper’s overall objective: to facilitate conversation around important topics to the Boston community.

To learn more about the Boston Globe’s strategy and learnings on starting this group, we spoke to Devin Smith, Senior Manager of Audience Engagement.


Enabling Publishers to Label Breaking News on Facebook

By Joey Rhyu, Product Manager

Earlier this year we made a commitment to show more high quality news on Facebook. People tell us they want to see informative news about what is happening around them, when it happens, on Facebook.

Getting clear signal on what stories are breaking news can help. We’ve been running a test in the US that lets a small group of local and national publishers identify and label breaking news. Starting this week, we will expand the test so that more than 50 additional publishers in North America, Latin America, Europe and Australia will be able to label their stories as breaking news on Facebook. If the expansion is successful, we may add more publishers. (more…)