In my first blog post, I highlighted a part of Mashable’s mission statement that called the “global, multi-platform media and entertainment company” the “go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content.”
Now that we’ve reached the end of the semester, it’s time to evaluate: how well does Mashable live up to its claim of being a digital media pioneer?
To answer this question, I’ve analyzed what Mashable does well and what it doesn’t. Finally, I’ll include some recommendations for the company.
What Mashable Does Well:
- Mashable embraces a variety of platforms
In this day and age, it is crucial for any company to have a strong social media presence. For a news outlet, this is particularly essential because sometimes the best way to tell a story is through a medium other than text. Mashable authors actively post to the site’s YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram accounts, which allows them to share content that includes video, photos, and interactive graphics. Not only does creating content for these channels enhance the quality of pieces, but it also gives the company a greater potential reach. For example, Mashable’s target audience is mainly millennials, and they may be more likely to click on a Snap story or YouTube video than a text article published on the site.
2. To enhance its content, Mashable incorporates multimedia components into its articles.
Mashable makes its articles more compelling and higher-quality by incorporating multimedia components such as charts, photos, and video. Including visual components make the articles much more interactive and engaging than text-heavy pieces.
3. Mashable has its finger on the pulse of what people are saying.
Many Mashable articles include embedded tweets and Instagram posts from average citizens or celebrities that demonstrate how prominent individuals/the public feel about certain topics. This interactive element shows that Mashable authors care about peoples’ opinions pertaining to a variety of issues.
Article with embedded tweets, addressing opposing viewpoints:
Where Mashable Misses the Mark
- @Mashable uses its Twitter account to broadcast tweets AT followers, rather than communicate WITH them
As I discussed in one of my blog posts, Mashable posts to its Twitter regularly, constantly posting links to the outlet’s own articles and videos. However, the company never reaches out to its followers to facilitate conversation–they never Retweet their tweets, reply to their questions, or ask for any feedback. The Mashable Twitter account has a whopping follower count of of 9.58 million, yet its tweets have extremely low interaction numbers for an audience that large, demonstrated in the two following examples. In short, Mashable is missing a major opportunity to connect with its audience, and for a company that prides itself on being digital innovators, it’s disappointing that the company doesn’t utilize Twitter to its full potential.
Example @Mashable tweets:
2. Missed Opportunities on Instagram
Similarly, Mashable isn’t taking full advantage of its Instagram account. While the company posts a lot of original content and videos, the posts never include links to articles or relevant tags that would make the content easier for people to find.
Example Instagram post:
For example, this post–a cute video of a puppy in a “doggy car seat”–could have included a tags of relevant Instagram accounts. If Mashable had tagged a dog-themed Instagram account, the video may have been re-posted, therefore increasing the number of viewers. Additionally, there could have been a few hashtags relating to dogs and technology, so that people searching for posts about these topics can easily find the video. Lastly, if there was an article written about this invention on the Mashable website, they could have included the link to the article to facilitate direct traffic from their Instagram to the article on their website.
3. Lack of category for Photo Stories on homepage
In my opinion, one of Mashable’s most interesting categories is its photo stories; however, as I discussed in a previous post, they’re impossible to find if you aren’t looking for them. If I hadn’t been assigned to find a photo story for class, I would have never known to type “Photo Stories” into the search bar. Mashable is missing a huge opportunity by not incorporating a category for photo stories on its homepage.
Categories presented on homepage:
To combat these missed opportunities, I have three suggestions for Mashable:
- In addition to tweeting links to articles, use your Twitter account to converse with your audience.
- Utilize Instagram features such as hashtags and people and location tags to increase your chances of being seen. And don’t forget to include links to relevant articles that correlate with your posts.
- Make a category for photo stories on your homepage. The content is high-quality and creative, and deserves to be seen!
While there is room for improvement, I believe that Mashable successfully fulfills its mission to be a site that embraces digital media. By utilizing multimedia and a variety of platforms, Mashable sets itself apart from traditional news outlets that many not be as open to change. In the future, when traditional outlets are scrambling to get on Snapchat, Mashable will be one step ahead, most likely already embracing the “next big thing.”
….And that’s a wrap for my semester-long analysis of Mashable. Thanks for following along! What was your biggest take-away?