How Le Journal De Montréal Crushed It On Facebook In 2014

February 19, 2015 Ben Myers


Canadian media companies spent more effort than ever posting content to their Facebook account in 2014, while some focused on quantity, others excelled with quality.

New research by data solutions company nModal shows that the amount of activity on Canadian media Facebook pages is accelerating, but the quality of the posts among the companies can differ greatly. nModal examined 164,076 posts and 16 million interactions from 13 major Canadian newspapers.

“The amount of engagement that’s happening on media Facebook pages in Canada is growing very quickly,” said James Standen, Founder and CEO of nModal. “Eighty-five percent of the activity that’s happened in the last three years happened in 2014.”

There was a clear trajectory among the media companies. Le Journal de Montréal clearly picked up its social media game, moving from less than 5% of total Facebook likes among the 13 Canadian media companies examined to taking over the top spot with more than 30% by the end of 2014. The Province, Montreal Gazette, National Post failed to keep pace with their competitors and saw their share of engagement shrink. The Toronto Star marginally increased its engagement over the course of 2014.EvolutionOfShareOfTotalLikesTopCndNewspaperFacebookPages

How did Le Journal do it? nModal examined the quality of their posts, comparing the number of likes per post in from 2012 to 2014. While The Toronto Star ratcheted up the number of items it posted on its Facebook page, the number of likes was about half of that of Le Journal in 2014. With a completely different strategy, the National Post reduced its number of posts and saw its relative engagement shoot up.

“The Toronto Star obviously spent a lot more time posting but didn’t get nearly as much engagement,” Standen said.


Viral articles play a large part in the overall engagement of each Facebook page.

“There’s the very popular ones, and then the on-going chatter,” said Ameet Wadhwani, Product Manager at nModal, noting that out of the 150,000 posts they examined, less than 500 got more than 1000 likes. “When something goes viral, it swamps all the other data.”

The top Facebook post examined, from Le Journal de Montreal, received 7000 times as many likes as the average post.

Visualizing a hundred and sixty thousand posts

nModal used publicly available data from Facebook Connect APIs, along with its own Analytics Canvas technology and Tableau visualization software in its research.

Standen said that lots of companies could use this sort of competitive intelligence from existing sources beside Facebook.

“With the increasing volumes of data, and the complexity of the numerous sources, enterprises that can get a clear view of what is happening are going to have the advantage,” he said. “Regardless of if an organization has the internal team and wants to use our tools directly, or if they want to take advantage of our expertise and infrastructure and have us do the analysis, we help our clients make sense of the huge amount of data available.”

Contact nModal for a free competitive intelligence report.

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