National Geographic Marches On, or Why Your Publishing Brand Needs Instagram and Video

Published on Apr 11th, 2017

If you’ve followed our 2016 Fact Book or 3 biggest lessons for CPG, it will be no surprise to find out that Instagram and video have become the engagement leaders in the social media universe.

Today’s announcement of March’s Top 10 U.S. Media Publishers shows that that publishers who dedicate resources to Instagram and video are reaping the rewards.

U.S. media publishers accounted for 1.4 billion total social actions (reactions, comments, shares, retweets, likes and dislikes). The media publishing industry generated 33% of consumer actions across all U.S. brands in March. Total actions for the media publishing industry grew by 9% over February, driven by 16% growth on Instagram.

National Geographic, recently dominant, again took the #1 position with 146.6 million actions. The publisher posted 21% more content on Instagram and gained a huge 40% boost in actions on its channel. National Geographic’s performance was driven by a combination of links and videos. Its top post was a video of a spillway at Lake Berryessa near Napa, California, an engineering marvel set in motion by the area’s heavy rains. The post captured over 300,000 actions and more than 13.6 million views.

The top link was to an article of a recently-discovered method to build a beating heart from spinach, which generated more almost 256,000 actions.


Rounding out the Top 5 were UNILAD, Bleacher Report, USA Today, and The Dodo.

Top 5 newcomer The Dodo deserves special mention with 43.6 million social actions, an awesome leap of 46%. The Dodo’s category-leading growth was driven by its investment in Facebook video. Although its post volume grew just under 1%, The Dodo saw 40% more actions on its video posts. The top performing post was a video of a human parent kissing his chihuahua puppy, which captured more than 1.2 million actions and over 49 million views.

Other notable findings include:

  • The Top Five Publishing Brands on Facebook: UNILAD (88.6 million actions), USA TODAY (54.7 million actions), The Dodo (38.9 million actions), Tasty (31.1 million actions), and Huffington Post (18 million actions)

  • The Top Five Publishing Brands on Twitter:  Bleacher Report (8.8 million actions), The Hill (3.7 million actions), Billboard (3 million actions), The New York Times (2.7 million actions), and Washington Post (2.1 million actions).

  • The Top Five Publishing Brands on Instagram: National Geographic (139.2 million actions), Bleacher Report (74.8 million actions), National Geographic Travel (30.8 million actions), Complex (28 million actions), and HYPEBEAST (26 million actions)

  • The Top Five Publishing Brands on (¯\_(ツ)_/¯) : BuzzFeed Video (2.3 million actions), MOVIECLIPS (1.1 million actions), Tasty (671,000 actions), Complex News (461,000 actions), and First We Feast (317,000 actions)

For Shareablee’s March rankings of media publishers by category, sports media, and TV shows, please visit

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