Case Study: Tonick Media
Business Cornwall is a magazine and news website dedicated to providing the latest Cornish business news and information to the local business community. The publisher, Tonick Media, also runs a sister news portal in the neighbouring county of Devon, under the name of Business Devon.
Social Media Audit incorporating Paid Distribution Trial
Tonick Media engaged Minchin & Grimshaw to carry out a comprehensive audit of their current social media approach, leading to a set of recommendations for future growth in the number of website visitors to Business Cornwall and Business Devon, as well as, increased social media reach and engagement.
The audit focused primarily on the publisher’s use of Facebook and Twitter, drawing on six quarters of analytics data, drawn from the social networks themselves, as well as, third party systems such as Google Analytics.
As part of the auditing process it was identified that there may be an opportunity to use paid for distribution on Facebook to negate the impact of algorithmic changes that have seen fan reach decline over time for many publishers. These opportunities formed the basis for a series of tests to be carried out, identifying what impact paid for distribution might have on the levels of reach, engagement and click through, as well as any associated costs in employing these tactics.
Paid for distribution was trialled during the second half of August 2016, comparing results with the first half of the same month.
The first trial was carried out using the Boosted Post feature, with a custom audience of website visitors to the Business Cornwall website over the past 180 days.
A second, wider trial, utilised an automated boosting feature which allocated £1 of paid distribution to each new post published on the Facebook Page, for a period of 36 hours in each case.
The impact of the paid for distribution was significant, with both organic (unpaid) and paid reach and engagement increasing.
Total reach, the number of unique individuals exposed to stories from the Facebook Page, increased by more than 300% during the paid period, over the unpaid period.
The number of individuals engaging with each post increased by more than 250%, with shares of content increasing by 300%.
The rate of new Page Likes acquired on the Facebook Page increased by more than 500%, with more than twice as many new Page Likes acquired in the second half of August over the first half.
The number of link clicks generated by each post published to the Page increased by more than 200%, with the majority of these link clicks coming from new website visitors.
In terms of cost, these results were achieved at a media cost of less than £50 or £0.68 per published post, suggesting that paid for distribution provides a sustainable model for publishers to increase their visibility on social networks such as Facebook.
“Minchin & Grimshaw demonstrate real depth of knowledge and understanding of social media, and their proactive and agile approach gives us the confidence that our advertising campaigns are both super-efficient and up-to-date.
Beyond this, they sympathetically ensure that we understand what they are doing for us by providing regular updates as well as exhaustive audits and reports on performance. This has been hugely reassuring as well as educational.”
Morveth Ward, Business Development Manager, Tonick Media.