Electronic Beats: designing a publication for the social sharing age

The team behind Electronic Beats team are using data and analytics to shape their online journalism, day by day

Warning: liveblogging

Prone to error, typos and crimes against grammar. Post will be updated and corrected during the talk and over the 24 hours afterwards. 

Patrick Lithander, Burda Creative & Sandra Kröger, Rascasse

For a while Electronic Beats was a new website every day. This idea – reinventing the newspaper for the internet – didn’t work. There were a lot of users, but they didn’t come everyday. So BurdaCreative switched to a website with an news element.

The main traffic channels are Facebook and the main site – but there are multiple others. Traffic flows both ways between the site, apps and the main social media presences. Google+ is great for them, because of the tools and visibility – but it produces very little traffic. Their Flipboard magazine led to 100,000 impressions from 10,000 users.

Every sixth or seventh reader Likes something. You can clearly calculate ROI of social these days in traffic – but you need to focus on quality content, that’s engaging. Google values high social involvement in search ranking. Short tern audience shares, lead to medium term SEO ranking improve, that leads to audience growth long term. It’s not just about writing  good article – it’s about the feedback from the readers. The most popular articles get over 50% of their traffic from social. Social spikes can happen months later, too, often attracting more attention then.

The top 1% of content generates 60% of their traffic. 90% of the content generates 10% of the traffic. That’s not a problem – as they do serve niches, but they explore ways of increasing popular content.

They review traffic twice a day. Social seeding starts straight after publishing, and articles are developed further if they’re showing signs of success at the traffic reviews.

The more you get from social media, the higher your bounce rate. This is normal – the best way to approach it is to create more “editorial glue” to try and keep people there a little longer. People don’t come to the homepage – they come straight to an article or the category page. Only engaging and compelling content is successful. And only then will readers accept company logos next to their favourite bands.