Conservative Media Among Most-Amplified Brands

Published on Mar 1st, 2016

by Jack Weinstein

Conservative media publishers now make up one of the largest industry groups among the 25 most-amplified brands on social media.

The Political Insider, Western Journalism, Breitbart and Rare joined the top 25 amplified brands in 2015. Only Fox News was was among the top 25 in the first half of 2015 and all of 2014. It's also the most-amplified conservative media publisher on Facebook and Twitter, not to mention the No. 1 U.S. brand on Facebook in 2015 by total actions (likes, comments and shares.)

Amplification is the sum of shares and retweets on Facebook and Twitter and one of the most useful social media metrics that brands and publishers can use to evaluate their messaging. Shares are so important because they expand a brand’s reach by exposing it to a broader audience. They’re also endorsements from people we trust.

We wanted to understand why conservative media publishers were so prominent among the 25 most-amplified brands on Facebook and Twitter. We used the Shareablee platform to understand what audiences of these five media properties were engaging with when not with the conservative publishers.

Audiences that engaged with Fox News, The Political Insider, Western Journalism, Breitbart and Rare over-engaged with Donald Trump.

Trump’s audience was 675% more likely to engage with Fox News than any other brand in December. His fan’s were also more likely to engage with the conservative publishers—The Political Insider (289%), Breitbart (217%), Western Journalism (88%) and Rare (9%) than many other brands, publishers and public figures.

This helps explain why Trump has gained such a big lead on social media among the GOP candidates. He had 67% of the share of voice by engagement in January among Republican presidential hopefuls still in the race.

We wanted to take our analysis of the most-shared and -retweeted brands a step further and see the kind of content that was driving most of the publisher’s amplification.

We examined the Facebook and Twitter content posted in by The Political Insider in 2015. It’s the next-most-engaged conservative publisher after Fox News ending up in the top 10 with 306% more engagement than it did in 2014.

The Political Insider generated 110.5 million actions (likes, comments, shares and retweets) on Facebook and Twitter in 2015. Of those actions, 25.2 million were shares, about 23%.

Posts and tweets that mentioned Trump generated nearly 2.5 million actions, only 18% from shares. We also evaluated Ben Carson, who has been among the most-engaged candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. Posts that mentioned Carson generated 834,200 actions, only 15% from shares.

Interestingly, posts that were critical of President Barack Obama received the most shares, at 20%, which illustrates that anger and frustration are key emotional drivers fueling The Political Insider’s success on social. Many posts included calls to action, a common strategy, which helped generate engagement.

Want to find out how different industries are using social to drive ROI? Download the State of Social: Past, Present and Future webinar.


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