Beyond the Big Three: New Social Networks for Publishers
There may be an untapped audience outside of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Social media is a direct extension of your editorial voice and brand. For many, your publication doesnâ€™t exist outside of the social worldâ€”until they find you in it. For instance, I was introduced to the Pulitzer Prize-winning site Pro Publica via Tumblr. Their â€śOfficials Say the Darnest Thingsâ€ť Tumblog is focused and funny. Now Iâ€™m hooked.
Think of social as the front porch to your brand: It should have curb appeal and be inviting.
While itâ€™s important to stay active within the Big Three (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest), there are untapped audiences for content publishers in the social universe. Consider activating one of these â€śnewâ€ť social media communities as you build your online strategy.
Some of these may not be for all of you, but the idea here is to think of unique avenues for growing your audience.Â
The value in Google+ is its SEO benefits. The Google +1 button (think of it as a Facebook â€ślikeâ€ť that wonâ€™t share directly in your social stream) can lead to a better page rank.Â When people +1 a Google+ post or +1 a piece of content from your website, it increases the link's potential for a high CTR, which leads to more social shares and amps up your search rank.
The bottom line: Start a Google+ profile for your publication so that it works in tandem with your traditional SEO strategies such as link building, relevant keywords, and URL structure, all of which have a more direct impact on search.Â
Your To-Do List:
- Start and maintain a profile
- Add +1 buttons to your Web site
- Try a Hangout on Air (live-streamed on your dot com) with editors or contributing experts
The beauty of Foodily, a food with friends social network where you can find and share recipes across the Web, is that itâ€™s focused and niche. Itâ€™s a forum for food enthusiasts, registered dieticians, chefs, party planners and restaurateurs to have conversations about cuisine.
Food isnâ€™t a main focus of your editorial strategy? Consider starting a profile anyway. For instance, if youâ€™re a ski magazine, your compilations could focus on comfort food, aprĂ¨s ski bites and Hot Toddyâ€™s for the cabin. If youâ€™re an automotive publication, think of top meals for tailgating.
As an official Tastemaker, SELF updates its recipe lists regularly and hosts focused discussions with our food editors and contributing experts. And like Pinterest, all recipes link back to the original source, so referral traffic is an ROI.
The bottom line: Join Foodily to have a presence in an emerging social community and introduce your publication to a new audience in an unexpected but on-brand way.
Your To-Do List:
- Start a profile, then download the free iPhone-only app
- Search for recipes by filter (low-carb, gluten-free)
- Engage: Ask a question and update your status with what your editors are cooking
- Explore other Tastemakers such as Cat Cora and Wolfgang Puck
The photo darling of the social media set, Instagram is a great vehicle for visual storytelling. It allows mastheads to come to life, and the app puts a face on the wizards behind the curtain: your editors. There are contests and hashtag campaigns that publishers can execute, but for those just starting out, keep it simple. Thatâ€™s what readers want.Â
The bottom line: Mobile is arguably the number-one social trend of 2013. Itâ€™s a vital way to extend your brand. A must-do.
Your To-Do List:
- Download at the App Store. No more than two editors should have password access, for security reasons and for content continuity
- Have a point of view when snapping photos
- Leverage in-book franchises to create a 360-reader experience. SELF initiated the #UpNOut movement centered on a.m. workouts.Â The story ran in print, there were weekly posts on Self.com and engagement via Instagram and TwitterÂ
- Donâ€™t feel the need to dress up every photo, frame, filter and fade it. Less is more. Sure, you can enhance the photo to make it presentable, but be authentic
What new communities are you excited about? Respond below in the comments section or Tweet me @StephaniePaige.
-- Stephanie Miller is CondĂ© Nastâ€™s first social media editor at SELF Magazine. In addition to managing and growing SELFâ€™s 10 social properties, she contributed to the social-responsive re-design of Self.com, launched an industry-first social dieting community and led SELFâ€™s first partnership effort with the music sharing community Spotify. Stephanie is evolving the way SELF connects with readers via social media: through Storify posts, 30-second videos via Tout and recipe sharing with Foodily.
Stephanie was named one of the 30 under 30 â€śPeople to Watchâ€ť by MinOnline and was noted as a future leader and one of the â€śFaces in the Crowdâ€ť, by the MPA - The Association of Magazine Media. Over 59,000 people subscribe to her social media Facebook feed and she speaks regularly at social media and digital conferences. Stephanie was inducted as one the youngest members of Northwestern Universityâ€™s Council of One Hundred â€“ a womenâ€™s leadership and mentoring organization. She is a former D-1 college soccer player and participates in triathlons and marathons. Twitter: @StephaniePaige
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