H2 Social Trends: News on Social

By Henley Worthen · August 24, 2023

In Part 3 of our 5-part series covering the top trends of H2 2023, we explore the newsroom on social. Earlier this year, Tubular Labs partnered with Chartbeat, the premier solution for publishers monitoring content performance. As such, we’ve decided to take a closer look at how traditional News publishers navigate the social landscape. 

The overarching discovery has been that the News category has a lot of room for growth. We predict that one day, Gen Z and Millennial audiences will look to social as their sole source of information. Publishers are currently in an arms race to win over the trust and loyalty of these audiences and position themselves as the go-to social News broadcaster. 

In order to guide traditional broadcasters into the age of social, Tubular has uncovered strategies that will optimize content, broaden reach, and boost loyalty. 

News Topics: Which Stories Resonate?

What resonates on-site or on television is not necessarily what will resonate on social. Likewise, different stories will resonate on different platforms like YouTube vs. Facebook.

That said, social audiences care deeply about News stories that discuss social causes, crime, and high-profile court cases. Some of the biggest stories of the past two years have included the missing Titanic submersible, Gabbie Petito’s murder, Amber Heard vs. Johnny Depp, and the Iran Women’s Protest. 

What do these stories have in common? They offer social audiences a chance to participate, share their opinions, and follow along with new bits of information released. For example, over the short week that the Titanic submersible was missing, viewers were constantly refreshing their feeds to get the latest updates on the story. 

See below how Titanic submersible content outpaced presidential political coverage: 

Amongst all US News media on TikTok, videos about the submersible received more views in just one week than views about presidential content combined in H1.

Nourish Your Supply of Evergreen Content

In Tubular’s Navigating Social Video in 2023: What you need to thrive, we discussed how social video platforms like TikTok were slowly replacing search engines like Google. For example, a person who once used Google to search for chocolate brownies recipes might now search on a social platform to find a video of the same recipe created by their favorite culinary influencer.

It’s no surprise, then, that in order to learn how to use new advanced AI technology, social audiences are searching for tutorials and how-tos on social platforms. For example, #ChatGPThack earned an impressive 68M views in the first half of 2023.  

While many News stories discuss what happens on a daily or weekly basis, evergreen content is equally important because it compounds value over time. Evergreen news stories are those that remain relevant and applicable over a longer period of time, as they are not tied to a specific current event or time-sensitive occurrence. 

Examples of evergreen content include high-profile interviews, heartwarming stories, tips and tricks about health or finance, and coverage of scientific discoveries or historical events. 

On social, one very popular evergreen content topic is police & crime footage. These videos circulate for years after the event took place. Inside Edition racks up tons of views on videos that are several years old with their police content. Compared to their competition, this publisher received 3x more views on YouTube on videos originally posted 1-2 years prior. 

At Tubular, we often see that larger broadcasters succeed when they mimic the tactics developed by smaller creators in their category. Social media news reporter, Cleo Abram, who formally worked for Vox, mixes up her timely content with evergreen content.  This creator has developed a multi-platform strategy that includes long-form videos of evergreen content on YouTube. Some examples of her evergreen topics include a deep dive into cancer research or metformin, the ‘fountain of youth’ pill. In the following video, she takes audiences on a journey to discover the quantum computer.

While her TikTok strategy is much more tailored for the short-form video app. Her videos are focused on current, topical events like the recent yellow smog over New York City and the new technology Taylor Swift is using for her current concert tour.

Larger companies can follow suit by leveraging changes in audience preferences from platform to platform. Topics that win on TikTok will be different than those that thrive on Instagram. Likewise, video lengths also affect the success of evergreen content. Short-form videos lend themselves to quickly delivering the cold, hard facts of breaking news stories. While longer videos allow for larger stories and educational exploration which tends to be evergreen.

Prime Time: When to Post 

Earlier this year, Tubular updated our technology to include insights regarding posting times so that companies can understand the correlation to success.  

When it comes to the News category, the best time to post on YouTube is between 10 pm and 12 am EST. The reason is that many people enjoy catching up on the day right before bed. 

Posting time is very important because it affects the overall success and lifespan of a video. Many social platforms prioritize the content that gets the quickest views in the shortest amount of time. This increases the chances that a video reaches more viewers and goes viral.

If you missed the first two segments of our H2 Social Trends series, you can find the data deep-dives into short-form content and ChatGPT here: 

Next week, we’ll be discussing music & sounds on social media! Get ready to boogie— because Tubular will reveal sound genres that brands & creators can tap into to connect with social audiences.

If you want to skip ahead and get the top 5 social trends of H2 2023 right now, download the full report in all of its glory here: 

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