Digital Insight

Published on March 1st, 2014 | by Saurabh Pandey


10 Social Media Ideas For Magazines

dotConverse recently started working with one of India’s more popular auto magazines- MotoringWorld (previously BS Motoring)

Over the last 3-4 months I had the opportunity to interact with Anant Nath, the Owner of Delhi Press (which owns MotoringWorld) and Bhavesh Thakore, the VP (who is a stalwart of publishing in India)

Based on these interactions, my own thought-process and our collective vision on this topic, here are a few things that magazines should do to leverage social media:

1. Don’t replicate your content on social platforms: We need to understand that our social reach will be much more than the readership of a magazine. This reach will also range from a novice to an expert. Magazines need to curate content and strategically create new or mashed up content in a such a way that it can be read quickly, shared and commented upon. No one will be interested in a flatly written 2 paragraph of content copied straight from the magazine.

Content curation ,mashup and a strategic calendar approach results in much more interesting and interactive relationship with a wide variety of people who are interested in connecting with your magazine without the baggage of going through serious and comprehensive editorial writeups. Even those who are already your magazine readers, there’s little value that you add if you just replicate the content.

2. Reach out- People interested in your genre of work, perhaps, already belong to certain communities. As magazines it’s important to reach to these communities and ignite conversations around your genre. This expands your network and reach and also creates thought-leadership

3. The baker cannot be the marketing man: Often the editorial teams want to control what goes on the social platforms and they are so attached to their style of writing that they cannot fathom that social consumers need a different flavor of writing which is quick, conversational and interesting. It’s like a baker in a bakery wanting to control the social presence of it’s products instead of a brand manager or a marketing manager doing so. The challenge is if everyone starts controlling who is accountable?

4. Don’t over-spread : It’s easy to think that the more expanded the presence, the more the reach. But the reality is exactly opposite. Social platforms are like marketplaces. If you are present on Vine- you will need to focus on creating humongous amount of content and let it reach to a wide universe of audience fast-else it will never have a traction.

Now it’s impossible to have all this traction across all platforms at once. And hence while you can start at all platforms, you will end up only focusing on 2-3 of them and the others get into a languishing spiral.

Focus on top 3 platforms to start with and then gradually grow interaction and participation on others one by one

5. It’s not the editor’s show anymore: You cannot just post editorial content on social platforms. Then there’s not much difference between your magazine and a Facebook page. You will need to put content that is created by 3rd party-meaning -readers , communities, brands and other types of curated content.

6. Present Social reach + Magazine Reach to your advertisers: A magazine should now tout about the combined reach of audience that a brand can leverage instead of just magazine reach

7. Let editors have separate handles : If you are thinking that we are anti-editorial, that’s not entirely correct 🙂 Editor and writers should have independent handles and it makes the entire social suite of the magazine more powerful. All handles interconnect, hence there is richness of content and a naturally buoyant & trusted content flowing in the social universe

8. Real time: Why wait for readers’ letters every month? Why wait for feedback, contests, and ideas? Connect your magazine with social platforms in real time. Tell people what are the new stories you are working on, get their feedback. Participating in an event- stream live tweets and live videos. Talk about events and news in real time over twitter for example. Why should a reader wait for a month or fortnight to listen something from you?

9. Collaboration: If you are on social platforms and not collaborating with audience,then you are missing something big. Need feedback on next issue’s cover? Get a quick voting on social platforms. Create a Ask an Expert opportunity on social platforms and let users ask questions. Want to do a story? Incorporate feedback from Facebook and Twitter conversations. There are so many ways to collaborate.

10 Event Integration: Hundreds of people throng your stall in AutoExpo or a book fair, how do you capitalize that audience? How about a social desk, where people can participate in a live quiz and win hourly gifts? How about a live product experience via a social game? All these and various other activities create stories on social platforms and help your brand reach newer sets of audience via a trusted source.

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