Digital Publishing New Publishing Tech
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Q&A: Echobox, using AI to help publishers optimize their social media posting

social media graffiti

Echobox is a research-focused tech company founded in 2013 to help online publishers optimize their digital strategies. Using AI, the company helps publishers choose when and where on social media to post each story to maximize pageviews. Fast-growing and headquartered in London, WNIP caught up with Antoine Amann, Founder & CEO of Echobox to find out more…

What business problem is your company addressing?

As newspapers and periodicals become multi-platform media businesses, maximizing digital advertising and subscription revenues becomes increasingly important. These revenues rely on online audience growth and at the heart of every online audience lies social media. An average news publisher receives circa 15% of its pageviews from social media (as tracked by our Social Media Index).

Viral content on social media can massively improve pageviews, but knowing when and where to share content is difficult. Publishers find themselves at the mercy of social media algorithms that dictate what content gets on to users’ social feeds. These algorithms are regularly updated, causing sudden and significant pageview declines for publishers. Effective social media content distribution thus becomes ever more complex, challenging and business-critical.

What is your core product addressing this problem?

Echobox is the only solution of its type designed specifically to meet the needs of publishers. Our approach is unique: we harness a publisher’s own data to train artificial intelligence that optimises their social media posting.

We help publishers choose when and where on social media to post each story to maximise pageviews. Cross-posting can be done manually or be fully automated. The average publisher receives a 36% increase in pageviews from social media within the first three months of using Echobox.

As we constantly monitor all changes to social media algorithms, we can mitigate any potential negative impacts. For example, when Facebook changed their algorithm in 2018, publishers without Echobox saw an 8% decline in pageviews, whereas those using Echobox increased pageviews by 2% over the same period.

Posting every piece of published content to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or LinkedIn can be incredibly time-consuming for Social Media Editors. We have spent six years developing the most user-friendly workflow in the market. As a result, our clients experience time-savings of up to four hours a week, for their teams to re-allocate to content creation and other high-value tasks.

Can you give some examples of publishers successfully using your solution?

French daily Le Monde saw a 17% increase in Facebook referrals over the first three months of using Echobox together with a 71% increase on Twitter. They said: “Echobox was promising in terms of multi-account posting and the algorithm that shares links at the right time for our communities. It was one of the best solutions we tested that could properly handle so many accounts with an understanding and compatibility to the news rhythm and ecosystem.”

Pricing?

Echobox pricing is designed to suit all sizes of publication and is based on a number of factors. Please contact echobox.com for a bespoke quote.

What are other people doing in the space and why?

There are various other social media management tools available in the marketplace. However, instead of being created from the ground up for publishers, these have invariably been developed originally for broader use or for use within other industry sectors. As such, they do not optimize for the specific audience of each publisher based on actual data in the way that Echobox does. Their workflows and user interfaces are also not designed to specifically meet the needs of publishers.

How do you view the future?

At Echobox, we are incredibly excited about the future of publishing and the role of technology within it. We believe that over the next 5-10 years, content distribution will become increasingly automated for publishers – as digital channels increasingly prevail. Ultimately day-to-day publishing decisions will be done automatically. This will yield significant benefits for those forward-thinking publishers who build effective multi-platform technology strategies. Content creation, on the other hand, will remain human-led for the foreseeable future, albeit increasingly assisted by content development and trend-identification tools, which help forge a closer relationship between producer and consumer.

Thank you.

Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash

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