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2010's best US newspaper Facebook fan pages

Socially networked: The Bivings Group study, conducted mid-November to mid-December, examined Facebook fan pages for over 100 large- to small-size newspapers.

The Washington Post uses Facecbook to the hilt, according to prominent Internet communications firm Bivings Group that tracked how newspapers use the social networking site to best connect with audience.

Ranking No. 1 and 2, respectively were The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune. The Post was cited not just for its very high fan-to-circulation ratio, design features and use of Twitter app Hootsuite to post to its wall, but its effective forms of audience engagement, which yielded an average of 41 likes and 55 comments for each post on its fan page. The Tribune, in turn, has Facebook engagement “down to a science,” according to the blog, with a custom welcome page, sub pages and a discussion tab, along with high average likes and comments.

  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.
Date posted: December 30, 2010 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 337