At Home in Arkansas
This regional pub is reaching a national audience by leveraging social media.
In April the title launched a redesigned website with improved search functionality and rich multi-media contentâ€”the effort is designed to support its robust social audience.
â€śWeâ€™ve added galleries that allow users to search by roomsâ€”kitchens, baths, bedroomsâ€”and by color as well,â€ť says Rosemary Hallmark, the brandâ€™s editor. â€śIn this way weâ€™re able to take everything and give our Web readers what they wanted. They want to look for inspiration on our website, and with galleries weâ€™re able to take it to the next level.â€ť
The site, AtHomeArkansas.com, also integrated new blog features and social media plug-ins.
â€śReaders can leave a comment on any article, picture or post, and it shares their comment on their Facebook, creating a conversation on each article,â€ť she says. â€śThe point was to keep readers on our websiteâ€”before the blog was on a separate site which took them away, as did social media. This is a way to keep everyone our site for as long as possible.â€ť
The editor says that readers use the print product as a way to generate inspiration for their own homes, and the magazine saw that Pinterest was a growing platform among existing and new audiences.
â€śDigital has been a major goal of ours and for Arkansas publications, we were really a trailblazer in social media and we got our audience set up early on, about five or six years ago,â€ť she says. â€śWeâ€™re a very photo heavy magazine so [online] we needed to be a visual source and be able to converse with readers on a daily basis. We view digital as a way to expand on all of our content.â€ť
The publication currently has the highest social media numbers of any publication in the entire state of Arkansas. The brand has nearly 10,000 Facebook fans, over 3,000 Twitter followers and about 1,000 Instagram followers.
â€śPinterest is a big one for us to share our content,â€ť she says. â€śPeople who are not in Arkansas, and bloggers nationwide share our content frequently. Weâ€™ve got about 2,500 Pinterest followers, and we get more than 25,000 blog hits as well. Weâ€™ve got really great numbers for a regional publication.â€ť
Tying Print to Digital
In print, the magazine ties in the digital experience with a dedicated half page of whatâ€™s going on the Web.
â€śWeâ€™ll put in Instagram photos and weâ€™ll ask a question to our Twitter followers with a hashtag so they can respond online,â€ť says Hallmark. â€śWeâ€™ve made it a point to, across the board, have our social media user names be the same so itâ€™s easy to find us. Anytime we write a story that has more photos you can see online, weâ€™ll note it in the magazine. We also expand on our print content in blogs as well.â€ť
Hallmark says the brand has been able to grow its following by developing a strategy centered on reader desires.
â€śThe numbers have kept growing because weâ€™ve been giving our online readers steady content, weâ€™ve asked them questions and shared back and forth with them to keep the conversation going,â€ť says Hallmark. â€śThe more we give them, the more we tend to get back, which is how weâ€™ve managed to grow this audience so well. A lot of our content youâ€™ve probably seen online, on blogs or on Pinterest and havenâ€™t even realized. Weâ€™ve been so good at sharing our content online that a lot people have probably seen At Home in Arkansas content and havenâ€™t even known that itâ€™s us.â€ť
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