Every day is a battle: Data shows Boston is the tightest fight in social media

Every day is a battle: Data shows Boston is the tightest fight in social media

We feel it every day, but now we have some data to prove it: Boston is the most competitive market in the nation for local news on social media.

Whereas other 1st and 2nd place newsrooms across the top 10 DMAs are separated by 5-13 points, Share Rocket’s first quarter review shows a separation in Boston of just 0.7.

“The race was even closer on Facebook, where WFXT had a 30.96 Share as a group compared to a 30.93 Share for WCVB,” the company wrote in a review that was both a report and a marketing vehicle.

That’s a separation of 0.03 on the biggest social media platform that exists and the only platform with any reasonable roadmap toward monetization for the local newsroom!

While WFXT won on Instagram (a largely uncontested space at this time) Share Rocket’s report showed that our WCVB team had a dominating win on Twitter with our main account and also the top two sub-brands in the market.

Earlier this month, AdWeek’s TVSpy reported Share Rocket data showing that WCVB had outpaced WFXT over the previous 30 days — and that 93% of that share was driven by the main brand page performance on Facebook.


A few days after TVSpy’s report, Social News Desk posted their own (marketing ploy) snapshot of the Boston market. In that one day, it showed that a volume and variety of posts contributed to our winning performance.

While Share Rocket is a very imperfect system (which I often disparage*), their first quarter review is an exceedingly rare opportunity to compare a data set across other DMAs. (It is also a marketing scheme for their products)

Within their data, “Social Share” is defined as the measure of a brand’s slice of the engaged audience within the reach of a universe of peers (other newsrooms of the same legacy type) within the same market.

“Social Share” separation between 1st and 2nd place:

  1. New York: 4,79
  2. LA: 9.23
  3. Chicago: 10.78
  4. Philadelphia: 15.6
  5. Dallas: 14.53
  6. San Francisco: 11
  7. D.C.: 8.47
  8. Houston: 5.2
  9. Boston: 0.71
  10. Atlanta: 12.69

This tight battle validates the feelings of urgency that our digital team faces every day in our corner of the newsroom.

We know in our hearts that our content is of better quality, but Share Rocket doesn’t care about journalistic integrity. It only tracks engagement, and that could be leading to the gameification of our once-altruistic field.

Yes, I do want to win and to have our content engage the most people.

But more important to our pride: A good day is one where we know our reporting was smart, accurate, interested and preferred.


*Share Rocket is limited by its methodology and often does not agree with the data presented by CrowdTangle. Additionally, the company’s limitations on the universe of peers is biased toward the legacy platforms of each newsroom and does not allow comparisons between, for example, newspapers and television.