Yahoo! researcher Yury Lifshits studied the Facebook “like” counts of the world’s top 45 news sources over a three month time period in order to see how they’re performing in terms of social engagement with their users.

Via Ediscope:

There are around 10 likes per 1000 pageviews (across several websites with public PV numbers). Decay of engagement is extremely sharp, with less than 20% likes happening after the first 24 hours…

..Stories about Facebook, Apple, Verizon, Groupon, future and infographics are universally popular across technology blogs. Articles about Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, cloud computing, TV and search see much less engagement.

An interesting — and in our view positive —note comes at the beginning of the screencast. It’s not the frequency of publication that garners “likes”. Instead, it’s the quality of the piece.

Unfortunately, as noted, news stories appear to be highly disposable, basically drifting off into the digital ether after the first 24 hours:

 Yahoo! News has the sharpest decay of user interest. Engadget articles have the longest lifespan. But even in this case, new content is only visible for 3 or 4 days.

Here are some tips Yury gives for engaging your audience:

  • Put significant effort in your top stories
  • Improve promotion of your best content
  • Improve your median story
  • Use both intuition and algorithms for demand analysis
  • Invest in social media optimization

Visit Ediscope for details on each of the above.

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