Sports coverage earns higher Facebook reactions than other subjects

Articles that go viral on Facebook show increases in Reactions in greater numbers than either Comments or Shares. Football stories are the category leader. But do those engagements convert to traffic to the publishers’ web sites? Our new study tackles this and other related questions.

While digging through all the news articles published last month to produce the October rankings report we found an interesting insight about football coverage. #

This chart shows the increase in Reactions, Shares and Comments as a percent of the total Engagement figure for each article. The long tail for this analysis is indeed very long, so we are only showing the pattern for articles reporting between 25,000 and 250,000 engagements to illustrate the trend. Source:
We looked more closely to find out what kinds of articles demonstrated this behavior most clearly. That turned up the second interesting data point. #

Sports, in general, performed well by this measure, but football demonstrated it more than any other type of coverage.

If you download the spreadsheet of October news articles and calculate which stories have the highest reaction counts as a percentage of total engagements you’ll find rows and rows of stories about football — everything from comments from coaches and stories about top players to trades and rumors to scores and previews covering all the European leagues, the Champions League and the World Cup. #
The key question is how well this activity converts to referral traffic back to the publishers’ web sites. More specifically, publishers need to understand whether reactions for their stories have a higher or lower correlation with referral traffic. That result will indicate whether this pattern is worth encouraging or if it only helps Facebook. #

About the study

If you would like Kaleida to look at your data and see how we can help please do get in touch. By joining our upcoming referral research study you can see how you compare with the market. #