Social Media for Publishers: The MPA’s Latest Report

Magazine Media 360° looks at social media for publishers with first quarter data

The shifting landscape of social media for publishers stood still for at least a moment this week, as the the Association of Magazine Media’s 360° report on the first quarter of 2015 homed in on performance across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The social presence of 35 companies and 222 titles was measured by SocialFlow exclusively for the MPA.

So, what were the findings?

First and foremost, the MPA reports a 7% increase in overall likes and followers as compared to the last quarter of 2014. Instagram proved the most fertile social media for publishers, giving rise to an 18% spike. The stars of Instagram? The Economist, Recoil, and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Overall, magazines tallied upward of 10.3 million more followers on Twitter, which represented the biggest jump in that metric. ESPN the Magazine, National Geographic, and The Economist led on that platform.

The most Facebook likes? National Geographic and ESPN the Magazine again, plus Playboy, the MPA says

When it comes to social media for publishers operating in niches, the highlights included the health & fitness realm on Twitter, which saw 6.2% growth; science & tech on Google+, 4.7%; luxury (15.3%) and travel (27.6%) on Instagram. 

The MPA was encouraged by the results.

“When we set out to establish digital and social media metrics, we knew that we were exploring uncharted waters. While there is still no broad agreement on what actually matters in social media, insights gleaned from this report can be valuable in gauging the efficiency of our strategies and investments in reaching our audience,” said President and CEO Mary G. Berner in a statement.


“With notable growth across all networks and brands, the report clearly demonstrates that consumers are enthusiastically interacting with magazine media brands on social platforms.”

Here are the top 25 overall brands flourishing with social media for publishers, in terms of total likes and followers:

1. National Geographic, 67,046,264

2. ESPN the Magazine, 40,273,102

3. Time, 22,911,022

4. The Economist, 21,719,353

5. Vogue, 19,461,922

6. Playboy, 19,008,970

7. People, 13,329,561

8. Elle, 10,854,710

9. Forbes, 10,623,033

10. Discover, 9,904,810

11. Glamour, 9,561,771

12. Cosmopolitan, 9,293,120

13. Entertainment Weekly, 9,128,475

14. Harper’s Bazaar, 9,032,009

15. Wired, 8,895,855

16. Popular Science, 8,748,329

17. Teen Vogue, 8,502,870

18. InStyle, 8,445,888

19. Women’s Health, 8,245,399

20. Martha Stewart Living, 7,971,439

21. National Geographic Traveler, 7,867,341

22. The New Yorker, 7,655,030

23. Men’s Health, 7,217,914

24. Vanity Fair, 7,206,080

25. Sports Illustrated, 6.320,897

On Facebook:

1. National Geographic

2. Playboy

3. ESPN the Magazine

4. Time

5. Vogue

6. Cosmopolitan

7. Muscle & Fitness

8. People

9. The Economist

10. J-14

On Twitter:

1. ESPN the Magazine

2. National Geographic

3. The Economist

4. Time

5. People

6. Vogue

7. Forbes

8. The New Yorker 

9. Wired

10. Entertainment Weekly 

On Google+

1. The Economist

2. National Geographic

3. ESPN the Magazine

4. Time

5. Discover

6. Popular Science

7. Forbes

8. Elle

9. Glamour

10. Vogue

On Instagram:

1. National Geographic

2. Vogue

3. National Geographic Traveler

4. Playboy

5. Super Street

6. ESPN the Magazine

7. GQ

8. Teen Vogue

9. Time 

10. Vanity Fair 

On Pinterest:

1. Harper’s Bazaar

2. Ski 

3. Consumer Reports

4. Smithsonian

5. Better Homes & Gardens

6. National Geographic

7. Martha Stewart Living

8. This Old House

9. Real Simple

10. GQ

Meanwhile, Bloomberg Businessweek showed the most growth on Facebook (74%), American Photo on Twitter (43%), Sunset on Google+ (45%), The Economist on Instagram (151%), and National Geographic on Pinterest (61%).

Looking for advice on social media for publishers? Download our free Organic Audience Development Strategy Handbook today!

To read more about the MPA’s latest report on social media for publishers, visit


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