Resharing evergreen content on social media is one of the simplest and most cost effective methods of maximizing the value of your content. You may have hundreds if not thousands of pieces of content in your archive, a proportion of which can be reshared to great effect. After all, you’ve already done the hard work, right? Creating new, high-quality content requires a lot of time and effort in both conception and execution: finding story ideas, researching, drafting, revising, polishing and distributing effectively.
But just because your content has been shared once on social media doesn’t mean that it has achieved the audience that it deserves — even great work can fall between the cracks. Republishing your evergreen content on social media gives it a second chance to captivate your audience and generate some well deserved traffic and engagement, not to mention the chance to hook readers who may have come to you after the piece was originally published as your audience expands.
Tapping into the opportunity of evergreen content
Capitalizing on evergreen content became a particularly hot-button topic a few years ago when the leaked New York Times’ Innovation report highlighted the paper’s inadequate use of its own archive. The Times needed to “think more about resurfacing evergreen content, organizing and packaging our work in more useful ways and pushing relevant content to readers.” In service of this, The Times would need to “invest more in the unglamourous but essential work of tagging and structuring data.” With a huge archive of over 14 million articles dating back to the 1850s, the report noted, there is an abundance of material that could be “resurfaced in useful or timely ways,” which was being neglected “because we are so focused on news and features.”
In the years since, the benefits of republishing content have only become clearer. In 2019, for example, Lymari Morales, Managing Director for Editorial and Insights of The Atlantic’s then consulting service Atlantic 57, reported that the magazine’s daily Facebook posts included between 15%-30% of archived stories, while over half of its website traffic was driven by content more than a month old.
The benefits of resharing evergreen content on social media
In our ultimate guide to resharing, we looked at how beneficial resharing content on Facebook can be to publishers, and the results were startling. On average, we found that a reshare — any post shared on social media more than once by a publisher — produced around 67% of the traffic it did the first time around, while for over 1 in 10 publishers, reshared content actually generated more traffic than it did originally.
What’s more, as we showed in our study of how Facebook’s algorithm penalizes certain sharing patterns, not posting content regularly enough can result in a serious downtick in referral traffic. This is especially problematic for publishers with more limited resources and a smaller staff spread thin. Effective resharing of evergreen content can be an excellent way to keep social feeds well stocked with high-quality content.
And the timescale for resharing your evergreen content can be large. We found, for instance, that while the vast majority of publishers reshare their content within 10 days, more than 10% of publishers reshare content after a month or more.
Seasonal evergreen content and even non-seasonal content reshared after a long interval can produce amazing results. In this instance from Big Think, the same article presented with a different share message received significantly more engagement than it did the first time around, even after more than 2 years.
Significantly though, our analysis found that more than half of all publishers reshare less than 10% of their content on social media. Why aren’t more publishers taking advantage of their evergreen content?
For many publishers, resharing evergreen content involves its fair share of legwork; even with the proper housekeeping, maintaining spreadsheets of evergreen content, tagging on topics, digging through archives and looking for content that is still relevant takes time – time that many publishers would rather allocate to simply creating more new content.
This is the conundrum that many face: an easy source of traffic is precluded by the more labor intensive work needed to source it. And beyond that, publishers also struggle with posting their evergreen content optimally on social media to avoid cannibalizing traffic from new content. We often hear questions like “How much of our evergreen content should we be resharing?” and “What is the optimal proportion of new shares to reshares?”
It’s problems like these that AI-based solutions are tailor made to solve.
How Handelsblatt boosted LinkedIn traffic by automating reshares
For the German business paper Handelsblatt, resharing has become an integral part of an effective social media strategy. Handelsblatt began using Echobox Social as their previous solution was proving too labor intensive, and through automating their social presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, they have had far more time to dig into the underlying analytics.
By taking advantage of the readily available data insights in Echobox, Handelsblatt’s social media staff are able to easily spot high-performing articles which can either be immediately reshared if they are more time sensitive, or tagged as “evergreen” ready to be reposted at a later date.
This strategy has paid great dividends, especially on LinkedIn where the paper is very active. Automating the resharing of evergreen content has contributed to a 58% increase in the percentage of traffic coming from the platform, whilst posts made through Echobox generate an astonishing 333% more clicks than shares made natively.
Echobox Social’s unique approach to social media publishing means that resharing content is as easy as possible. All articles that have been “seen” by Echobox are stored in an archive that publishers can easily search and manage. Looking for evergreen content to fill out your posting schedule today? You can filter your archive to find evergreen articles with the highest predicted virality score right now and share them immediately. Or, let Echobox pull from your archive and automatically reshare evergreen articles at an optimal later date and time.
And there’s no need to tag content manually. Echobox uses cutting-edge natural language processing technology to analyze each article and determine whether it is time sensitive. Those deemed more urgent — such as a breaking news story — will be tagged appropriately and shared within a short timeframe. Those that are marked evergreen are given a larger publication window and stored in the archive which Echobox can draw from at later, opportune moments.
With an ever-expanding pool of evergreen articles from which to draw, Echobox can deliver an even more finely tuned mix of reshares and new posts, automatically testing the best ratio to make sure that evergreen content doesn’t cannibalize new shares or vice versa.
Newsweek saves 20 hours per week on posting and resharing
Like Handelsblatt, Newsweek also use Echobox in a hybrid manner, mixing manual and automated social media posts. Newsweek enjoys having the flexibility of following journalistic intuition at times, whilst leaving Echobox’s automation to do the work at others.
Notably, one of the areas in which Newsweek simply leaves Echobox’s algorithm to work its magic is with reshares. Newsweek “relies pretty heavily” on Echobox’s AI to analyze which posts are performing best and reshare them at the optimal moment, said Adam Silvers, Newsweek’s Deputy US News Director and Senior Digital Strategist. Echobox’s automation has helped Newsweek double its Facebook traffic in only a short period of time while saving the team 20 hours per week on post curation, sharing and resharing.
Unlocking the power of evergreen content with automation
With publishers standing to gain an additional 67% in traffic just by pulling content from their archives, the benefits of resharing evergreen content on social media are many, and Echobox makes reaping them easier than ever before. By utilizing intelligent automation, you can make the most of your evergreen articles, extending their value with zero effort. You’ll never need to comb through mountains of data or vast archives again.
Republished with kind permission of Echobox, the AI-powered social publishing platform for publishers. More than 1,000 leading publishers worldwide, including Newsweek, The Times, The Telegraph, Handelsblatt, Le Monde and Conde Nast, use Echobox to reach billions of people each year.