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Research examines trends in public interaction with journalists on Facebook

Results of a study of how people interact with journalists on Facebook released July 13 reveal posts posing a question or including a call to action from a journalist generate the greatest amount of feedback.

Study findings, presented by Vadim Lavrusik, Facebook Journalist Program Manager, and Betsy Cameron, Data Analyst, are based on an examination of how the public interacts with Journalist Pages on Facebook, which are used to assist journalists with reporting, storytelling and distribution.

Highlights of the study include:
• Posts with personal reflections and analysis from journalists received 20 percent more referral clicks than the average.
• People like photos, so much so that they receive 50 percent more “likes” than non-photo posts.
• Journalists who shared thumbnail images in link previews got 65 percent more likes and 50 percent more comments.

The analysis of the Journalist Pages also found posts asking questions, which represented 10 percent of all posts, receive twice the comments and 64 percent more feedback than the average.

The study also shed light on various characteristics of posts and how each impacts feedback and engagement. Factors including post length, use of photos and thumbnails were examined. The research also looked at the impact of story type and daily activity. The analysis found meatier posts received greater feedback from the public. Four-line posts saw a 30 percent increase in feedback and five-line postings saw a 60 percent increase compared to the average post. Interestingly, one-line posts received the highest maximum feedback, the research showed.

An examination of engagement by story type revealed that posts about education, politics and those offering behind-the-scenes insights and analysis from journalists received more feedback than the average post.

The research also revealed that international news stories received 70 percent more referral clicks than the average; political stories received 60 percent more, and those with personal reflections by journalists got 20 percent more referral clicks than the average.