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Inside the BBC’s social distribution strategy for Brexit coverage

July 04, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By Jessica Davies

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News publishers have been on overdrive since the Brexit news hit, and a lot of them continue to break internal traffic records.

Take the BBC. On June 24 attracted 21 million unique browsers — up from May’s average of 6 million, according to comScore. It generated 114 million page views the same day — double the traffic it got during the Paris attacks. That continued through the subsequent weekend, with 30 million unique browsers and 170 million page views.

Alongside its mobile apps and websites, the BBC went deeper with social tools like Facebook Live and Snapchat.

Digiday caught up with BBC News social media editor Mark Frankel, to hear more on its social distribution plans throughout its Brexit coverage.

Using Google Trends to shape Facebook Live editorial
The BBC has created an average of three Brexit-focused Facebook Live videos a day relating to the EU Referendum.

To stay focused on the topics people most cared about, it monitored Google Trends. Roving reporters then used those when interviewing across the country. That’s led to Facebook Live content including: “NHS in Somerset,” “What is Brexit in Liverpool,” “Immigration in Nottingham” and this example asking who can Vote in Edinburgh.

The BBC’s been testing different editorial formats for Facebook Live videos for the last seven months. The Brexit vote outcome left many Brits unclear on what the future holds.

The broadcaster tapped into that need, assigning a Reality Check Team: a group of experts assigned to answer all questions with hard facts relating to the Referendum.

They’ve featured in much of the BBC’s social content. The BBC teased some of its Live videos on Facebook, urging people to post questions for the Reality Check Team to answer via the Live stream later that day.

One of these videos, posted on June 30, reached 1.4 million, generated 78,000 views, and received more than 1,000 questions.

Other more typical broadcasting techniques have also worked well. BBC reporter Adam Fleming gathered reaction outside Westminster after the news that Tory politician and prime Leave campaigner Boris Johnson announced he was halting his bid to be the U.K. prime minister. The video, had accrued 106,000 views within 24 hours. All videos have had anywhere from ten, to hundreds of thousands of views.

“What we get from Facebook is some very interesting analytics around the level of views and number of people watching with the sound on or off, and how long they stay. What we’re still lacking and hope to get is more analysis on those that are returning, their gender, location, there’s lots more data we could get, which would be very useful,” said Frankel.

Crafting live Snapchat stories.
The BBC isn’t a Snapchat Discover partner, though the platform is still part of the mix. “Our approach through the Referendum was to get under the skin of the story when appropriate,” said Frankel.

SCsadiqIt published snaps on the nights of each of the big televised debates, which culminated in the “The Great Debate”, at Wembley Arena on June 21.

A producer was assigned to the platform and created a mix of images, emojis, …read more

Source:: Digiday