Features go viral more often, says Reuters Institute
While news stories make up the bulk of the content on three European news sites, most of the most-shared stories are features.
Or so says Satu Vasantola, Journalist Fellow at Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
85% of the articles Helsingin Sanomat publishes are news stories, and just 15% are features. But 34% of the most shared stories were features.
Vasantola analyzed the most-shared stories from three European news sites:
- The BBC
- Helsingin Sanomat, the largest subscription newspaper in Finland
- Yleisradio, a Finnish media company
Features most shared.
Here’s what she learned:
- Features were the most shared articles at Helsingin Sanomat. 34% of the most-shared stories were features. But 85% of the articles the newspaper publishes are news stories, and just 15% are features.
- News articles and videos were the most shared at the BBC. 23% of the most-shared pieces were feature articles.
- Features were the most-shared Yleisradio pieces. 55% of the most-shared pieces were features.
Want to get shared more often? Vasantola suggests that you write stories that:
- Combine personal angles with national or international perspectives. People want stories about individuals as well as facts and statistics.
- Evoke feelings — especially positive ones. “Pure facts and figures are not enough; people want the facts to be served with emotions and stories of individuals, but stories that cleverly combine (inter)national and personal details,” Vasantola says.
- Make it relevant. Touch on everyday topics such as health, children and money.
“Interesting,” Vasantola writes, “is the new important.”
Source: Satu Vasantola, “Do you think it is sex? You are wrong! This is what people share most on social media,” Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 2014-2015