How publishers control their brand identity on social platforms

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.

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

Consistency across sub-brands
The Sun has various sub-brands, such as fantasy football site Dream Team and 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.

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