In May 2016, we launched the very first edition of Worldwide – the South Africa takeover. A few months later, we launched its second edition to focus on the Rio Olympics and Brazil.
The goal of this takeover was to highlight our Olympic hopefuls and showcase how the University is working with Brazilian partners to tackle environmental issues, understand the country's corporate governance reform, and strengthen links with industry.
We worked with all faculties and two research centres across the University and produced five Olympics stories, six research case studies and three student case studies.
During the period 5 August to 21 September 2016, the Worldwide Collection page gained 1,550 pageviews. The data shows:
- 80.7% of total page views came from outside the UK
- 4.8% of total page views came from Brazil
- 44.2% of traffic explored additional content
- over half (63.2%) of the page views came from the University homepage and internal staff homepage
Social referral traffic
We also carried out a 26-day period of promoting the Worldwide Collection page and curated stories on the University’s social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Our goal was to understand how well the Worldwide Collection page performed when it was shared across different social media channels using different tactics.
One of the lessons we learnt from the previous takeover was that targeting regions is less effective than targeting users’ industries or interests. As a result, we sent out each post twice, once to all followers, and the other time targeting specific industries or user interests of the followers. We then compared both methods to see which one brought more referral traffic.
We’ve discovered that:
- messages not targeting any specific audience groups referred about four times more traffic than messages targeting specific users
- the average session duration for all social media referrals was 2 minutes and 12 seconds, suggesting that users are likely to have read the full story
- targeted posts on LinkedIn led to better user engagement with the content, compared to other social media channels
- the content items that received most social media referrals were the Olympic athlete stories and student case studies
- the most-consumed content items from social media referral were research stories
How we can do better in future
We learn as we go.
For this edition, the data proves that although we received more traffic from non-targeted messaging from social media, targeting clearly-defined users with valuable, relevant and consistent content resulted in better user engagement. This is definitely one of the lessons we should take forward when creating and sharing content with our users in future.
There are always things we can learn and improve throughout the process. For the next edition, we will look at how we produce the content, including identifying stories, interviewing, storytelling, and quality control.