Death to the Pageview Era

By: Shalen Franchini

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We’ve all seen it, the Twitter page that has 10.5k followers and maybe 300 posts or the Instagram account with 10 pictures but 1000 followers. These people did a lot of spamming or they paid for their popularity. Either way, cheaters never win.

The page view approach helped sites like Vox and Buzzfeed for a little while to increase their names in the internet community but now these companies are starting to see the holes in the foundation for utilizing this strategy long term. According to they’ve ditched the old model in favor of a much thorough long-term model that focuses on the best buzzword in the business of marketing: engagement

Instead of focusing just on the number of likes and comments, these companies are now focusing on how long users spend on their page, how many different pages they look at, if they are repeated consumers, links that they click while on the page and also if they shared this content and where. This allows for a business to track organic viewership and help to decipher bought clicks as well as understanding the demographics. Demographics that help these publications and websites dig even deeper into their audience and get an even better understanding of what content they need and engage best with.

This shift is possibly best news for a Public Relations professional. I say possibly because unless you do PR for a publication or you run a marketing company that uses these metrics, you’re going to have to pay. These metrics may not come cheap to your client. A publication like the Detroit Free Press might not want to divulge this information to the PR person trying to pitch a story. However, if you’re client understands the importance of social media efficiency they’ll be happy to pay with the understanding they’re getting the best bang for their buck.

Public Relations is about engagement with your audience so the death of page view and the rise of engagement should be a no sweat for PR pros. It gives you basic demographics so you can focus on the niche demographics for your company, much like how a calculator made it easier on the right-brained people.

In a society that embraces what color a dress is or “run-away llamas around,” it’s hard to predict what the next viral subject that breaks the internet will be. It’s no surprise that Facebook and Google have changed their algorithms to help its users navigate a world of junk that flows from pageview style news. As a PR student learning about this style of journalism, I couldn’t help but get a terrible feeling in my stomach that this was the opening of Pandora’s box to more junk and less content. So you can imagine my excitement when companies finally realized there’s more to the story than just the clicks.

You can view the article here for more information


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