Thoughts on Evolving Publishing’s Content Strategy to Leverage Social Media
What changes are needed to drive the process change?
[EDITOR’S NOTE: You can read the complete version of this post on McCarthy’s blog here.]
The evolution and dispersal of social media tools creates the opportunity to rethink the traditional content publishing model for media brands.
That’s the conclusion I’ve come to after puzzling through the different ways we create editorial content, the ways that we engage with customers in a market and the opportunities to leverage that engagement for the advantage of our advertisers.
The dichotomy I’ve zeroed in on is the difference between Creating and Sharing. The best model for the future of an editorially-driven businesses will benefit from increasing the focus on Sharing and sacrificing some of the focus on Creating.
Social Media Tools Can Drive Process Change
The driver for this transition is the relative ease of use and ubiquity of social media tools. These tools make it easy for anyone to create and distribute digital content. If you can turn on a computer and type, you can set up a blog; if you can take a photo, you can post it to Flckr; if you can use a FlipVideo, you can publishto YouTube.
The use of social media tools by consumers is incredibly well-documented and is a critical plot element in the story line about the disintermediation of traditional media. Consumers are creating content and sharing content: in June alone more than one billion links, photos, videos and posts were shared on Facebook.
But there’s been virtually no discussion about how social media tools can be used to help transform traditional publishing operations.
One reason for this absence of dialogue may be the technical focus on content-tool innovation on the web. Over the past 20 years, the development of the web has been the purview of technologists who have revolutionized the concept of media. What has developed, however, is a media platform that creates more depth, dimensionality and interaction than any other media platform that has come before it. [The media proposition on the Internet is able to wholly close the commercial loop, moving from awareness, intent and transaction without having to shift from one media to another, or even having to move from one place to another.]
Some observers have posited that we are moving into a postdigtal age, where technological innovations become secondary to the primacy of social imperatives—the needs and abilities of people—in structuring the processes that will drive the next generation of media.
The Application of Social Media to a Traditional Publishing Environment
When you think about social media as a set of tools that can enhance your interaction with the marketplace, you find yourself answering a new set of questions. The focus is not on how to handle media displacement, it’s on how to integrate the tools into your workflow so that you can be in touch with an audience in multiple ways across multiple platforms with minimal extra cost.
This is a reinvention that is about increasing the relevance of your core assets, not of protecting your legacy business.
Click here to read the rest of McCarthy’s post.