Latest posts by SMC Ed. (see all)
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Even with all the buzz surrounding social media and the decline in circulation of print publications, some hard-copy publications are still ignoring or half-hardheartedly dabbling with the potential audience that social media can attract.
And they’re losing out.
Analytics allows tracking of referrals from social media sources and you can see firsthand the difference that linking content from a Website, a blog attached to a Website, or an online publication can make. Here at Social Media Contractors we see the traffic increase that social media brings to Websites/blogs every day.
At SMC, we talk about this process in terms of “social gravity.” Platforms like Twitter and Facebook act as satellites that extend out from a brand on the Internet. Whether your content is original — as in an article developed by a publication — or aggregated — as in linking from a blog to content your audience may find interesting — utilizing social media brings amplification and greater mass to your brand’s message or to the articles that your publication develops.
The benefits of social media applied to publications with an Internet presence are numerous. And you’d be hard pressed to find a publication without an internet presence these days.
Even adding social buttons to a publication’s Website can increase traffic by making it easier to share online. Adding social buttons to individual stories can increase sharing further. Nearly gone are the days when someone would read an interesting article in a print publication and tell their friends about it. Today, it’s more likely and less time-consuming for a reader to view a story online and click a share button to rebroadcast a story across their social network. This sharing works to exponentially increase traffic to the source article since the link brings other readers right back to the original story on your publication’s Website.
Blogs attached to a publication’s Web content can also allow coverage of stories that might be overlooked due to time constraints. A quick post can be created based on aggregated content that’s commented on, or expanded upon, by a publication. Much of the work that I did while at Paste Magazine involved aggregated content, which combined with other writers to bring over a million unique visitors a month. Blog posts from aggregated content also benefit the original source because it’s proper etiquette to link to the original story, thus driving traffic to the source from your publication’s blog. Storify has been championed by a number of high profile publications recently for its fluid form and ability to allow journalists to curate content from social and Internet sources.
Whether increasing page views and in turn online ad revenue, or simply making readers who otherwise wouldn’t know of a niche publication aware of it, social media can bring more traffic to your publication. An added bonus is the ability to gauge reader response to a given story. Analytics can describe page views, but stories that are rewteeted frequently, or shared through platforms such as Facebook show reader response and can also allow for more reader engagement through these platforms. Readers hesitant to respond to a story on a Website’s comments section, are more likely to comment and engage with content via social platforms where that is the norm.
Publications with a national reach aren’t the only benefactors of social media. Small publications of a local or regional nature can also win with social media. Even when these niche publications charge for subscriptions, and have exclusive content that they don’t share on the Internet, they can still utilize social media to increase readership. What better way to spread the word on exclusive content than to tease it on Twitter or Facebook? Email newsletters for subscribers that offer exclusive stories prior to print publication are an appreciated reward for loyal subscribers.
The possibilities with integration of social media with existing publications rich in content are nearly limitless. Unfortunately, many magazines and newspapers still don’t see this potential. Or they see the potential, but don’t have the time or understanding to integrate social media into their publications. This is where companies like Social Media Contractors come in. We excel at helping companies with social media, because that is what we are dedicated to. There’s a big learning curve to using social media optimally, and social media is constantly evolving. Just as some publications focus on business or fashion, SMC focuses on social media. Social media is our beat. Every day we’re studying trends, best practices and monitoring analytics to see what works for different types of companies in terms of getting the greatest benefit from social media. There is not one set solution for businesses with social media, and SMC has tried and tested our strategies with companies in many different fields.
In today’s interconnected world your company — whether retail store, medical clinic, restaurant, or publication — needs to be involved in social media. If you’re not, you can count on your message being overpowered by companies that are.
By Matt Goodlett