ISLAMABAD: News organizations get the most engaged readers by working on their own to build brand loyalty, not through referrals from social media or search engines, a study.
The Pew Research Center found that “direct visitors” who use the news outlet’s specific address or have it bookmarked stay about three times as long as those who come from a search engine or Facebook, The Guardian Reported.
“Facebook and search are critical for bringing added views to individual stories, but, the data suggest it is hard to build relationships with those users,” said Amy Mitchell, Pew’s director of journalism research.
“For news outlets operating under the traditional model and hoping to build a loyal, paying audience, it is critical for users to think of that outlet as the first place they should turn.”
The study underscores the challenges of news organizations trying to make a transition from print to digital and keep revenues flowing.
It also suggests limits to the idea of “social news” helping traditional media organizations.
The study, in collaboration with the Knight Foundation, found a higher level of engagement from direct visitors across the full mix of sites studied.
Even sites such as Buzzfeed and NPR, which have an unusually high level of Facebook traffic, saw greater engagement from those who sought them out directly, the researchers said.
The study found it is difficult for news outlets to convert a “social “referral to a permanent direct visitor.