Back in the day, you’d go wherever your doctor told you to go for care. Today, 88% of patients take the time to research a doctor online before scheduling an appointment.
What does this mean for publishers and editors? How can magazine publishers use social media power to build their subscription base?
The DON’Ts of social marketing
Today, savvy publishers understand the “each one reach one” style of social media marketing to gain more subscribers. But to do this well, you have to be “in” social and not just an occasional participant. To convert followers to subscribers, take time to build and expand your social audience.
Magazine-focused social media marketing is not:
- Creating a profile and posting a few monthly updates.
- Using hashtags to jump onto viral posts without regard for market or audience niche.
- Periodically advertising or occasionally posting a personal observation.
- Giving up after a few months when subscriber numbers don’t immediately increase.
Social marketing is social selling. If you want to use it to build referrals, and ultimately boost subscriptions, you must:
- Understand your readers and the social channels they frequent.
- Create a compelling hashtag- and keyword-optimized profile that promotes your publication.
- Respond to comments, likes, shares, and other social activity .
- Network with influencers in your market niche to generate content awareness.
Your goal is to create a dedicated set of followers who interact with your brand and are easily converted to subscribers.
Why build an organic social presence?
Customer acquisition is what keeps your lights on, but sometimes the connection to bottom line numbers can feel a little shaky. Building an organic social media presence is the best low-cost strategy for increasing readership. Organic social marketing requires establishing your magazine online without the use of paid advertising. Your goal is to build an online presence within your current subscriber base, and invite them to share your publication’s content with their connections. Why? Because 70% of people trust the recommendations of their friends. And social media allows you to reach your subscribers and their friends.
WOM: word of mouth marketing
What is “each one reach one,” and how can you make it work for your publication? Word of mouth (WOM) marketing is highly effective on social media channels. It works the same way it always has, except you are targeting existing subscribers to recommend your publication to their social circle, build followers, and convert those followers to subscribers. Incorporate these strategies to make online WOM work for your publication:
- Use “buzz marketing” focused on a product launch or special offer. This could be an upcoming article or issue, a subscription discount, a promotion, or something else buzzworthy. Share teasers on social, have a countdown, or invite readers to a subscriber only preview.
- Content marketing builds your expertise — if the content is important to your readership and their social circles. Keep in mind that social content isn’t limited to the written word. Your goal is to present valuable content in engaging ways — visual, video, long, and short form — for both existing and potential magazine subscribers.
WOM marketing develops naturally from these strategies. Readers engage with and share your social posts, and their friends pay attention — giving you an opportunity to build your social presence with new connections when those friends follow you or like your page.
Social marketing engages your print readers in new ways and harnesses the power of referral relationships, with positive effects for existing subscriber retention as well as a steady stream of potential new subscribers to your publication.
Contact your Sheridan representative or visit our contact page to see how we can help you streamline your publishing processes, reduce costs, and keep up with changes in print and publishing strategies.