How do you get your content to stick out on Facebook?
That’s the daunting question faced by upstart digital media company Vox.com. Vox covers everything from entertainment to politics to pop culture — and specifically anything trending across social media. Vox’s mission: Identify the news that people are interested in and then explain it using their brand of explainer journalism. The company’s director of programming, Allison Rockey, and audience development editor, Agnes Mazur, have their work cut out for them.
“One of the biggest challenges is cutting through the noise — there are so many
conversations going on across so many channels, and these are all relevant to us.” Allison explains. “We need to be aware of what they’re talking about it. CrowdTangle helps us cut through the noise on the internet.”
Vox uses CrowdTangle to accomplish a twofold objective: content discovery and
audience engagement. The company tracks stories across Facebook, Instagram,
Reddit, Twitter, YouTube and Vine. “People aren’t just on Facebook, so the number of different platforms CrowdTangle covers is super helpful,” Allison says.
The Vox team has built CrowdTangle into their office Slack account, allowing the whole newsroom to keep track of social.“CrowdTangle is something Vox has been using since day one,” Allison says. “It was part of our newsroom from the day we launched.”
To identify which conversations are trending, Vox uses CrowdTangle’s
overperforming metric, which spots top-performing posts on Facebook,
Reddit, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
“We are using CrowdTangle to get a sense of what the audience responds
best to,” Agnes says. “It’s important to show what the audience engages with
in order to be more relevant.”
Vox doesn’t just identify outside content that is overperforming, they take it one
step further to identify which of their own stories on social media perform well.
They then convert those stories from text articles into other multimedia formats.
“We’ll have an article that takes off, and we can easily look at that story and
determine if it would work well in a video format,” Allison says.
CrowdTangle allows you to rank pages and monitor their performance against each other. This can be used to help shine light on strategies competitors might be winning on, and helps social media managers track their own page performance.
Vox is discovering social media gold. Their science team recently used a Slack channel which alerted editors and writers when a particular post in Reddit was overperforming. That story was about a mysterious purple orb. “So we did an explainer on it,” Allison said. The article, titled “Scientists discovered a glowing purple orb at the bottom of the ocean. They still have no idea what it is” went viral and reached over 22 million people across Facebook and Twitter. “It was a gigantic hit for us. It was a story that was talked about in a small Reddit community with a niche audience and it was great to pull something like this from CrowdTangle. The story absolutely took off with our audience,” Allison said.
“And it was so easy to set up that Slack alert so we could discover that story,”
Agnes added. “That Slack channel is something our science team looks at