The business-to-business world is one filled with old standing business models, and often, old standing mentalities to match. Jessica Lillian, editor of Zackin Publications’ Solar Industry, dared to look past this mindset to integrate emerging trends into her magazine.

Lillian joined Zackin in August 2006, and spent the next five years moving through the editorial ranks. Before being named editor in February 2010, Lillian worked with Zackin’s Commercial Mortgage Insight. In her latest role, Lillian’s responsibilities run the gamut. “I oversee all content development for the monthly print issue; maintain our online presence; assign contributed content to execs and freelancers; and write three to four articles every month,” she says.

Under Lillian’s tutelage, Solar Industry’s content quality is carefully maintained. “It’s very competitive to be published in the magazine,” she says. “I usually have twice the number of feature articles I can fit in. Still, this is a great problem to have.”

Solar Industry has 26,000 print subscribers (an 8.2 percent jump from 2010) and print pages are up 20 percent from 2009 and 2010 counts. September 2011 ad pages were up 30 percent over the total in September 2009, before Lillian became editor.

“Obviously, we have an ethical separation between advertising and editorial; but I believe people are advertising because the magazine is respected and the content is strong,” says Lillian.

Along with print management, Lillian nurtures Solar Industry’s Web presence with daily updates to the site. Current website visitor numbers are up 20.5 percent from 2010, and page views up are 16 percent. Lillian also realized the importance of social media integration into Zackin’s publication, and approached management in April 2009 about a social media launch.

“I said it was something we really needed to get involved in, as none of our magazines were on it at that point. Currently, we have about 11,400 Twitter followers. Our competitors have about 2,000 followers each,” Lillian tells FOLIO:.

In addition to Solar Industry’s growing Twitter following, the feed was named one of the Top 12 Clean Tech Tweeters by BostInnovation.