Since starting to post to the popular Asian app Line in January 2016, The Economist has grown its following to nearly 1 million in several countries.
As with The Economist’s approach to other social platforms, the goal of posting to Line was to build audiences in new markets and ultimately drive loyal readers to subscribe. Line wasn’t meant to be a huge traffic driver for the publisher, but it’s finding popular posts drive as much referral traffic to its site as Facebook does, where it has over 8 million followers.
“Some publishers are busy chasing traffic through Facebook and Twitter; it’s not uncommon for these more niche platforms to become an afterthought,” said Sunnie Huang, who recently became the publisher’s newsletter editor after serving as social media writer. “For us, [Line is] so interesting because of the mix of readers; it’s definitely been worth investing [in it].”
The Economist’s social media team of 10 people usually all contribute to posting to each social platform. But Line has a dedicated team of two or three people working on it because its audience is more global, and the content needs to be formatted for Line.