03 February 2014

By Ken Payne

We often talk to clients about the power and reach of news publication and distribution available to them within their TEKGROUP online newsroom. But, as they say, a picture tells a thousand words. Here is a timeline example of a single piece of content - and a single tweet – that moved the needle for TVWeeklyNow.com, one of the online properties for TEKGROUP client TV Weekly Magazine (more than 1 million readers!)

The published story is based on the magazine’s interview with Stana Katic, the stunning co-star of the hit television series Castle. Portraying Detective Kate Beckett on the show, Katic has garnered a fan following that is passionate, active, and online – the perfect mix for news spreadability!

When TV Weekly writer Lori Acken finished the story the morning of Jan. 24, she immediately published it to TVWeeklyNow.com’s online newsroom blog (http://tvweeklynow.com/news-blogs/).

For many content managers, that’s a wrap – call it good. But, Lori understood the power of social news distribution as well as the power of online newsroom publishing. At 11:00 a.m. that morning she decided a timely tweet with a link back to the article might drive some traffic to the TVWeeklyNow.com web site. So, tweet she did:

Now for the fun part. As mentioned earlier, Stana Katic has a passionate fan base – one that continually monitors social media for mentions of the iconic actresses’ name – real or character. So, Lori’s tweet was immediately sourced by @Santraxf:

In social networking-speak there are edges and nodes. Edges are the pathways that connect the nodes. Nodes are the entities (people, brands, content, etc.,) that are being connected. Facebook calls this the “social graph” – and everyone using social media has a social graph. Sandra Knows Best is what we might call an influencer node with a large spiderweb of edges. Paydirt! @Sandaxf then re-tweets the original tweet from @TVWeeklyNow:

RT @Sandraxf: Queen of the Castle: Stana Katic Says Camaraderie Is Key To The Show’s Success: tvweeklynow.com/news-blogs/que…tvweeklynow.com/news…

…and the game is on:

This goes on for some time – hundreds of re-tweets total. But, I think everyone gets the point.

The next day, Jan. 25, the TVWeeklyNow.com staff decides to take a look at Google Analytics for their online newsroom report – just to see how their posts are trending. That’s when they noticed “the bump,” the first indicator that something is working in social media news. The bump usually looks something like:

Zoom in for a closer look:

Now, all things being equal, there are not many things in the web universe that explain a bump like this, other than something they did was driving traffic to the article they published – in this case that something was a tweet, with @Sandraxf doing all the heavy lifting with her social graph.

And not a bad return on investment either. You see, that single tweet not only engaged the Castle zealots, it engaged potential customers for TV Weekly’s other offerings. Further digging revealed that of the 2,795 visits to the Castle article that day, 18 registered for the site’s Find & Remind service, 15 visited the TV Weekly magazine subscription page, and a host of Castle-driven traffic visited other article pages of the site.

No mystery here – the spreadability social media news works.


Steve Momorella

Online Public Relations
Email: steve@tekgroup.com
Phone: 734-945-7790

Ken Payne is an associate professor of public relations at Western Kentucky University’s School of Journalism & Broadcasting, and TEKGROUP consultant who lives at the intersection of technology and tradition. Ken is PRSA accredited, an active member of AEJMC, and would someday like to work as a ski patrol volunteer (free season pass!).

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