6th July 2017

We need to be bold to achieve stand-out, say publishers

Top companies reveal the social media strategies that reinforce their brands.


Standing out on distributed platforms presents a branding challenge for publishers. News feeds are crowded, and people scroll fast. In a Reuters experiment, most people remembered how they found a news story, but only 37 percent could recall the name of the news brand itself when coming from search, compared to 47 percent from social.

“It’s a crowded market, and there’s lots of evidence to indicate that our audiences are not always aware that what they’re seeing on social platforms is produced by one publisher or another. We need to be much bolder on all this,” said Mark Frankel, social media editor at BBC News.

Digiday asked five publishers — Business Insider UK, The Times of London, The Sun, CNN and the BBC — how they’re working on standing out. Here are the takeaways:

Make a quick impression 
BBC News, CNN, Business Insider, The Sun and The Times heavily brand posts and videos that go out on Facebook and Instagram to make sure people know the source within seconds of seeing them in their feeds. CNN went a step further, incorporating the same red in its logo to specific words in the body of articles it runs on Apple News, Facebook, Google AMP or Instagram.

“Audiences see our signature red logo and know they’re getting verified, reliable news and information. That recognition becomes even more important in their feeds where there is little distinction among fact and fiction,” said Mitra Kalita, vp of digital programming at CNN.

Business Insider has begun adding banners to some Facebook thumbnail posts, as does the Guardian, so the brands travel whenever a link is shared outside of Facebook pages.

Making content synonymous with brand
Publishers also are using content and tone to reinforce their brands. “We try to inject as much personality as possible, particularly now that Facebook is algorithmically favoring [users’] reactions,” said Charles Clark, social media editor at Business Insider UK. “Publishers need emotion and personality if they want their content and brand to travel.”

Similarly, News UK tabloid paper The Sun favors videos that are positive, funny and inclusive when it posts to Facebook. “We find that positivity is inherently more shareable, and I see our job with video on social to challenge people’s perception of The Sun,” said Derek Brown, head of video at News UK.

Consistency across sub-brands
The Sun has various sub-brands, such as fantasy football site Dream Teamand Sun Fabulous, and each has its own style and tone. But for The Times, also owned by News UK, it’s more important to maintain the same tone and techniques across the publication’s sites and verticals. That’s why all text on social posts are edited by Times journalists to ensure the standard and tone is the same as the publication. They also use an in-house tool that pulls in the most shareable quotes into digital cards with a uniform tone and design.


“They allow us to create images to go with articles where we don’t have a lead image to pull out the most controversial opinions in comment pieces or the most shareable fact from the article,” said William Park, social media editor at The Times.

Written by Jessica Davies, 3 July, 2017, published on digiday.com. Read the full article here

Keep in touch
Get our free weekly retail
newsstand report
Enter your email below for our free weekly retail newsstand report, InterMedia updates and relevant industry news. You
can easily unsubscribe at any time. Click here for our privacy policy.
Get in touch

Unit 6 The Enterprise Centre
Kelvin Lane, Crawley,
RH10 9PE

Registered in England & Wales: InterMedia Brand
Marketing Limited. 07256268. Registered Office: North
Quay House, Sutton Harbour, Plymouth. PL4 0RA
Accredited by ABC for reporting standards, providing our
publishers with data their suppliers can trust.

An associate member of The Professional Publishers
Association, with the common commitment of working
towards a prosperous multi-platform media industry.
Subscribe today
Enter your email below to subscribe
for InterMedia free weekly newsstand
reports, updates and industry news.
You can easily unsubscribe at any time using the link at the
bottom of any of our emails, or by emailing us. Click here
to read our full privacy policy.
Part of the InterGo Group
The InterGo group work together
seamlessly to connect and deliver
brands to consumers.
© 2021 InterMedia Brand Marketing Limited. All rights
reserved. InterMedia is a trademark of InterMedia Brand
Marketing Limited. All content, trademarks, artwork and
associated imagery are trademarks and/or copyright
material of their owners.
We love cookies
This website uses cookies based on your browsing activity. By continuing
to use this website you consent to our Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy.