A blog by the Brick Factory The Brick Factory

2010 Best US Newspaper Facebook Fan Pages

This is the second installment of our 2010 Facebook Newspaper study, and features our top 10 rankings for the best and most interactive fan pages amongst U.S. newspapers. Newspapers selected were among the 100 largest in the U.S. (based on circulation). In addition to ranking each paper by the number of Facebook fans, we also looked at number of comments per post, and the variety of post on each page. The overarching intent was to create a ranking that allowed large regional newspapers to compete on an even digital playing field with large national papers.

 

  1. The Washington Post  – The Post ranks 3rd in number of Facebook fans within the top 100 US newspapers, but it’s particularly effective form of audience engagement is what ranks it at the top of our list. It averages 41 likes and 55 comments for every post on it’s fan page wall, and maintains a very high fan-to-circulation ratio. The Post also features two custom tabs and its editors periodically use HootSuite to schedule posts and ensure a consistent stream of information to its readers.
  2. The Chicago Tribune – It may be ranked 9th in the US in terms of circulation, but the Chicago Tribune has its Facebook engagement down to a science. It boasts a custom Welcome landing page, a number of newspaper-specific sub pages,as well as a discussion tab. This is in addition to it’s high average number of likes and comments on every post, and its continuous reader questions.
  3. The Arizona Republic (azcentral.com web portal) – Due in part to its collaboration with AZcentral.com, the Arizona republic is ranked 3rd on this list despite having a 40% lower circulation than the first-ranked Washington Post. Its average number of likes and comments on posts (as a function of its total number of Facebook fans) shows that Arizona Republic routinely engaged a larger number of its fan base.
  4. The Denver Post – This regional powerhouse newspaper has a greater number of Facebook fans than the nationally-distributed Los Angeles Times. The average number of likes and comments on newspaper’s posts are similar to newspapers with much larger circulations. Likewise, the Denver Post utilizes custom tabs to post Contests and Classifieds on its fan page.
  5. San Jose Mercury News – This newspaper ranks 8th in circulation within the United States, but we’ve ranked it 5th on this list due to its consistently active Facebook fans. Often, the fan page will feature simple status updates (sans links) and will ask the readers questions or just wish them a good morning. It is this variety in fan communication that earns the Mercury News a spot in the top 5 of this list.
  6. The New York Times – This is the nation’s third largest newspaper in terms of circulation, but is by far the most popular news source on Facebook with over one million fans. In fact, their number of Facebook fans actually exceeds their daily circulation – which is something no other top 100 US newspaper has accomplished. However, the number of comments and likes that their posts attain do not show proportional engagement of their one million fans.
  7. The Los Angeles Times – This west coast paper’s fan base is surpassed in number by much smaller regional papers such as the Denver Post. However, its fans state engaged and its numbers of average likes and comments remain fairly high.  Distinctive feature: their posts are often published using HootSuite – as opposed to manually sent on Facebook.com.
  8. The Cleveland Plain Dealer (Cleveland.com web portal) – By partnering up with the Cleveland.com web portal, the Plain Dealer’s Facebook an page become a hub of all things Cleveland-related.  The page also encourages fans to post pictures and otherwise interact with the Plain Dealer news, sports, and entertainment stories that they post.
  9. USA Today    -   The page boasts an impressive number of Facebook fans and often asks their fans questions relating to the links that they are posting. However, with a circulation of over 1.8 million (and being one of the best recognized national newspapers)– one would think that USA Today can attain a higher number of fans than 38,000. 
  10. The Wall Street Journal – This may be the largest US newspaper in terms of circulation (and one of the only ones with a profitable content paywall on the website) , but it’s follower and fan engagement numbers are still only a fraction of those on the NY Times Facebook page. Nonetheless, the page is frequently updates and fans are able to have lively discussions about each post.

 

Newspaper

Fans

Circulation

Fan/Circulation Ratio

Washington Post

100589

545345

0.18445021

Chicago Tribune

23397

441508

0.052993377

Arizona Republic

19830

308973

0.064180365

Denver Post

36557

309863

0.117977945

San Jose Mercury News

8423

477592

0.017636393

New York Times

1001502

876638

1.142435076

Los Angeles Times

28835

600449

0.048022397

Cleveland Plain Dealer

6962

252608

0.027560489

USA Today

38578

1830594

0.021074034

Wall Street Journal

176896

2061142

0.085824266

Data for this study was collected from the middle of November until December 13th, 2010. Over 1000 total faebook fan page wall posts were analyzed to our conclusions.