Newsday’s social media team increased video views by 56% by changing its strategy

By Gabriella Vukelic

Newsday Media Group

Melville, New York, USA


Local news is more important than ever, and Newsday created a video product to expand the brand’s awareness and grow loyalty and trust across Long Island.

When we launched NewsdayTV, we also revamped our social video strategy. We left our best practices from the pandemic and created new approaches that increased our average views from 800,000 to over 1.2 million. 

Our video views on social media increased by 56% because we could reach new, young, and diverse audiences who began following our pages for more about what’s happening in their local communities.

With the launch of NewsdayTV, the news company began changing how it approached social media.
With the launch of NewsdayTV, the news company began changing how it approached social media.

With that strategy in place, we rethought how we presented videos on social media. Instagram Reels and TikTok videos in a vertical format are favoured in the algorithm and are the best way to get your content seen by new people who may not already engage with your pages. 

We experimented with different types of videos — different topics, the aesthetic, and how we told the stories.

What we discovered

We learned that adding closed captions, trending sounds or songs, and telling the story in a familiar way worked. We also researched hashtags, what’s important to add, why — and even how many. Basically, categorising videos with crucial SEO terms helps the algorithm determine how to distribute content to the proper channels.

Similar to our hashtag learnings, we applied that to how the video was presented in the newsfeed. We created conversational headlines with SEO terms and now add them to every video for the first three seconds. It’s just the right amount of time to pull our audience in.

Finding the right balance

Less is more. Posting too many videos wasn’t the right way to present our journalism because the oversaturation got lost in people’s feeds and, ultimately, was not seen at all. We became selective on what we reshaped vertically and created a lot of social-first content too.

This included new food videos with b-roll that our food critics sent us and even three TikTok segments that tap into different storytelling approaches: an “in case you missed it” news from the weekend, a point-of-view coffee conversation that breaks down a topic, and TikTok’s most familiar form of storytelling — a “get ready with me” when we tell you about things to do over the weekend.

Implementing a new, focused strategy on social videos brought more attention and awareness to our Web site and NewsdayTV. We increased our average video views, garnered over 15 million video views, and drove over 3,000 Newsday digital subscription sales for the year.

Expanding the platform

While much of our focus and brain power was geared toward growing our views on Instagram and TikTok, these best practices bled into the way we repurposed content for Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts.

The new strategy also led us to experiment with different approaches to storytelling and use the platforms to our advantage in localising societal norms. We launched a TikTok project called TikTawk that shared how Long Islanders have used the social media platform to grow their careers.

This was a strategy to grow new audiences and increase video views since we knew this group of content creators was well-known and likely to share the project. That effort brought over 200,000 video views across social platforms and exposed people to other content from our pages.

By utilising our video strategy to expand our reach, we’ve seen an increase in follower growth across platforms, such as our TikTok page, which grew followers by 259%.

About Gabriella Vukelic

By continuing to browse or by clicking “ACCEPT,” you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance your site experience. To learn more about how we use cookies, please see our privacy policy.