The new 'social editorial suite' works in a predictive way, suggesting what stories will resonate best on different platforms and channels at which times.
The social suite is integrated into Visual Revenue’s real-time analytics platform that launched in 2011 and is used in more than 250 newsrooms around the world, including by News International titles, the Independent and Canada's Globe and Mail.
While breaking news will be pushed out immediately on a news site's social channels, using the Visual Revenue social dashboard a social media editor, for example, could use the dashboard data and their own editorial judgement to decide when to send out less time-sensitive stories. Tweets or posts to other social networks can be timed and sent out from within the Visual Revenue platform.
"We will predict six hours into the future what we think the next steps should be for the different social accounts," chief executive and co-founder of Visual Revenue Dennis Mortensen told Journalism.co.uk.
As with the pre-existing analytics, the social dashboard allows news outlets to "take advantage of the stories doing well, if that fits in editorially".
The platform provides "honest feedback on success and failure", according to Mortensen. It displays benchmark values which show editors what performance to expect from each tweet or share, and their subsequent success or failure in meeting it.
That helps journalists see what stories are resonating with audiences and those that are not, which may be due to the headline or the story, Mortensen explained.
The social dashboard builds on the newsroom dashboard, which gives editors real-time recommendations on what content to place where on a news site's homepage and for how long.
It is then up to the editor to use his or her skills and the data given on what stories are resonating with the audience, to then decide which stories to place in which position.
Editors can chose to 'accept' or 'pass' on the recommended placement of a story by Visual Revenue.
Mortensen was quick to point out that the data and information supplied by the dashboard is to "empower social media editors to do their job", rather than an attempt to automate the process. "We are not here to dictate, we are here to participate," he said.
Mortensen told Journalism.co.uk that "those news organisations which simply think you can put the story in place and hope for the best, can't win - and they might not be able to survive at all in the future".
Last year Visual Revenue launched headline testing, which was used by USA Today to boost Olympics traffic.
Mortensen, who founded IndexTools which was sold to Yahoo and became Yahoo! Web Analytics, said Visual Revenue has seen a ten-fold increase in customers during the past year.
Free daily newsletter
- Die Welt's in-house analytics tool gives articles a score to measure their impact online
- Tip: Check out these alternative metrics for measuring engagement
- Tip: Check out this guide to determine when to share articles on social media
- Inside the Financial Times' special projects strategy, six months on
- The Center for Investigative Reporting open-sources its Impact Tracker platform