Magazine publishers, as a whole, understand the importance of social media as a significant part of their content strategy, but to fully leverage it across all platforms and channels requires a specific social media strategy. Although getting likes and shares can be gratifying, it barely scratches the surface of its usefulness to media brands. There are experts who can help you create and follow a comprehensive social media strategy. Here are some basics to help ensure you get the most benefit from your social media presence.
Social media in publishing
Although ultimately you want to monetize your social media presence, you should use the platform for marketing rather than as a direct sales tool. You can include a link to a subscription page in some of your posts, for example, which may net a few subscribers; however, engaging readers and deepening a relationship with them will go further in the long run as these readers will likely become some of your best brand ambassadors.
There are myriad ways of connecting with readers beyond simply presenting content, such as:
- Opinion polls and surveys
- Story ideas
- Voting on magazine covers
- Product giveaways for advertisers
- Creating pre-publication buzz
Which platforms should you use?
There are a lot of social media platforms, but rather than creating a presence on all of them, it’s better to focus on a few relevant ones. So how do you choose which platforms to focus your efforts on?
- According to the MPA, Facebook is the most popular social media platform for magazines, likely because of its audience demographic, and wide user base. It has a 43 percent share among the five networks tracked: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. Facebook has more than twice as many likes for magazine pages than Twitter followers of the same brands.
- Twitter is good for reader engagement and increasing your reach. It is a great choice for real-time updates.
- Instagram has access to the same extensive user base as Facebook and is therefore a good platform for sharing stories, showing off covers, creating a buzz, and growing reach organically, meaning without advertising spend.
- Pinterest provides a platform for creative outlets and lifestyle followers.
- For B2B connections, LinkedIn is the platform of choice. It enables you to connect and engage with targeted businesses, specific industries, and even targeted professionals who hold a specific job role or function.
- TikTok is more suitable for building enthusiasm, reach, and engagement than it is for direct selling. TikTok is geared toward an audience of teens and young adults.
Those are six of the most popular and relevant platforms for marketing your publication. Choose two or three to focus your efforts on first, based on your readership demographics, platform preferences, and your specific goals.
Social media best practices
Social media is a powerful tool for engaging readers and increasing your readership base. When venturing into the social media world, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. For example, you should:
- Develop a social media plan that aligns with your goals.
- Consider how you will measure success. For example, do you want to build advertising revenue by 15 percent or add 10 percent more subscribers?
- Be agile. Analyze results continually and modify strategies and processes accordingly.
- Allow and encourage readers to interact with authors.
- Leverage social influencers to heighten engagement and increase your reach.
- Shares are free PR. Provide interesting, controversial, or attention-getting content.
- Engagement is more important than promoting sales or subscriptions.
Magazine publishers already understand the importance of audience engagement, and as such, understand the importance of a strong and effective social media presence. Although Facebook is currently the most popular for magazine publishers, other social platforms have their merits as well. Choose several that are relevant to your target audience and focus your efforts on those.