Improving The New York Times Social Media Strategy

Overview

The New York Times website went live on January 22, 1996. According to Bonazzo (2016), “The Times immediately began offering online-only content, centered on events like presidential elections and the death of celebrities like Princess Diana.” The New York Times has the 2nd highest newspaper traffic in the US, per Porter, et al. (2018).

The New York Times is a traditional news source. According to Times History, the daily paper was first published in 1851, has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes and is the 2nd most read paper in New York City and 3rd most read in the United States, per Wikipedia.

“The Gray Lady” has suffered from the same issues as every other paper in the US: the rise of digital media. According to Journalism.org:

“The estimated total U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) in 2018 was 28.6 million for weekday and 30.8 million for Sunday, down 8% and 9%, respectively, from the previous year.”

People are using their mobile devices and getting their news more often from social networks than from traditional news sources. The latest data from DigitalNewsReport.org, shows that while trust in the New York Times remains high, people are also getting their news from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Assessment

The New York Times has a verified Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. These accounts are robust with relevant and timely content. However, the links to the official social media sites aren’t found on the homepage.

The Times Twitter homepage

The Times Twitter homepage updates frequently with content from the main site. The feed has been active since 2007 and has over 373,000 posts and 47,000 photos and videos.

The Times Facebook homepage

Created in 2007, the Times Facebook page that, according the Mission statement:

“(A)im to create a space on Facebook.com/NYTimes where readers can exchange intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.”

The Times Instagram homepage

The Times Instagram page posts visual stories from the main site. The current highlighted topics are Weekend Reads, Dance Costumes, Syria and Block Parties.

Recommendations

  • Add the icons for the top three social media sites: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to the top bar of the site. These links would lead directly to the NYT page on these social networks where users can “follow” the Times.
  • Add share links to index page snippets so that users can share right away, articles of interest to their social circles.

These minor changes will encourage reader engagement by making it easier to share content, directly from the New York Times homepage.

Sources

History. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2019, from https://www.nytco.com/company/history/.
Bonazzo, J. (2016, January 22). The New York Times Website Turns 20 Today. Retrieved September 26, 2019, from https://observer.com/2016/01/the-new-york-times-website-turns-20-today/.
Interactive. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2019, from http://www.digitalnewsreport.org/interactive/.
Porter, J., Everhart, E., Kanalley, C., Domansky, J., Beard, D., Porter, J., … Hinojosa, M. (2018, April 8). The Top 25 U.S. Newspapers by Website Traffic. Retrieved September 26, 2019, from http://blog.journalistics.com/top-25-newspapers-by-website-traffic/.
The New York Times. (2019, September 28). Retrieved September 26, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times.
Trends and Facts on Newspapers: State of the News Media. (2019, July 9). Retrieved September 26, 2019, from https://www.journalism.org/fact-sheet/newspapers/.

Iris Gomez

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