How is your brand attributed in distributed environments? - Reuters News Agency

How is your brand attributed in distributed environments?

Nic Newman shares 4 tips for publishers to improve brand attribution on social media. Read them here and access the full report.

By  Alice Rizzo | Jul 20, 2017

The often-heard sentence “I saw it on Facebook” speaks for itself, platforms are getting more credit than publishers for the news content they distribute.

A strong visual branding, consistent tone and distinctive format can help achieve significant recognition in social media ”

— Nic Newman, research associate, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

A new study published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism finds that when accessed via distributed platforms, content is often falsely attributed. In fact, according to the report, two-thirds of the people remembered where they found the content but less than half of them could recall who produced it.


Why does brand attribution matter?

Visibility in social media and search is critical to brand recognition. In turn, correct attribution is essential to drive traffic back to the website where content can be monetized. For smaller news organizations, this is a real challenge. Increasingly powerful tech giants, like Facebook, Apple or Google, control who publishes what to whom and this has a direct impact on the broader journalistic model.


What can you do?

Nic Newman, research associate at the Reuters Institute and co-author of the brand attribution report, shares four brand attribution tips for publishers:

  1. Be consistent. Pay attention to your tone and consistency. People will respect you for that and they will recognise you wherever you are;
  2. Be distinctive. Don’t be too broad and try to do too many things. You will just end up looking like everybody else;
  3. Be visual. How does your brand visually work on those social platforms? Change or adapt the logo specifically for the context of distributed platforms.
  4. Be innovative. Don’t just rely on what Facebook gives you. It is deliberately low-key. People need to recognise your brand and know that it’s you.


What will you find in the report?

Key findings include:

1. Brand loyalty and pre-existing relationships matter.

2. Top brands have higher levels of attribution

3. Topics and formats have a direct impact on attribution