Social media is a direct extension of your editorial voice and brand. For many, your publication doesn’t exist outside of the social world—until they find you in it. For instance, I was introduced to the Pulitzer Prize-winning site Pro Publica via Tumblr. Their “Officials Say the Darnest Things” Tumblog is focused and funny. Now I’m hooked.

Think of social as the front porch to your brand: It should have curb appeal and be inviting.

While it’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 “new” 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. 

The value in Google+ is its SEO benefits. The Google +1 button (think of it as a Facebook “like” that won’t share directly in your social stream) can lead to a better page rank.  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. 

Your To-Do List:

  1. Start and maintain a profile
  2. Add +1 buttons to your Web site
  3. 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 it’s focused and niche. It’s a forum for food enthusiasts, registered dieticians, chefs, party planners and restaurateurs to have conversations about cuisine.

Food isn’t a main focus of your editorial strategy? Consider starting a profile anyway. For instance, if you’re a ski magazine, your compilations could focus on comfort food, après ski bites and Hot Toddy’s for the cabin. If you’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:

  1. Start a profile, then download the free iPhone-only app
  2. Search for recipes by filter (low-carb, gluten-free)
  3. Engage: Ask a question and update your status with what your editors are cooking
  4. 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. That’s what readers want. 

The bottom line: Mobile is arguably the number-one social trend of 2013. It’s a vital way to extend your brand. A must-do.

Your To-Do List:

  1. Download at the App Store. No more than two editors should have password access, for security reasons and for content continuity
  2. Have a point of view when snapping photos
  3. Leverage in-book franchises to create a 360-reader experience. SELF initiated the #UpNOut movement centered on a.m. workouts.  The story ran in print, there were weekly posts on and engagement via Instagram and Twitter 
  4. Don’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.