The interest in Instagram is certainly growing. We read in an article a while ago that the New York Times is going “All-In” on Instagram. After that we got curious about how and why one of the biggest players in the newspaper market is doing that. In the article Alexandra MacCallum, assistant managing editor for audience development at the Times, announced that the newspaper now employed staff that is responsible for cutting 15-second videos.
Instagram is a good method of mobile marketing and is a useful approach to increase customer loyalty and the customer experience from already established companies. As well as that, posting pictures frequently can keep users and customers interested in the company. Additionally, Edison Research showed in a study this year that over half of Americans aged 12 to 24 have an Instagram account, where NY Times is certainly interested in. Alexandra MacCallum showed that she understands Instagram, its purpose, and the benefit for businesses when she stated, “it is not an effort to drive traffic to the site. That is very hard on Instagram,..”. Nevertheless, Instagram might be very important for the newspaper’s future, and we want to analyse how the NY Times is active on the photo-sharing platform.
Let's see what NYT does right
First we want to understand how many posts they did in 2015 and which channels receive the most likes, shares, and comments.
After having a look at the quantitative stats, it is interesting to see in which channel followers are engaging more. After we gained that knowledge, the next analysis will try to answer why and how the interactions are higher. In the screenshot below we did not include the NY-Times Fashion-Channel because the engagement is much higher than the other channels, caused by the New York Fashion Week in this period of time.
To analyse the behaviour further, we gathered data of the days each different channel is focusing on, which might be topic and audience related. As seen in the “Average Interaction Table” it is possible that a company has interaction peaks, reaching significantly more people than on an average day, so it is beneficial to post on these days.
Using hashtags on Instagram is an important topic for every company that tries to engage users. We were eager to find out if the New York Times is using filters and, if so, which filters are performing best.
It’s clear that filters seem to be irrelevant for every channel beside @nytfood. Having a closer look at the photos, the natural look of all pictures is dominating the appearance of the NY Times Instagram channels. Also interesting might be the custom metric “Hashtag Detection”, which we included in our social media analysis. With this we can enhance our understanding in which topics the american newspaper is engaging most.
In a nutshell, the company tries to leverage certain events to leave a footprint on specific topics, which is working pretty well as seen in the screenshots above. By using hashtags and posting more frequently during these events, they are able to increase their channel-specific reach.