Wondering how to use social media for magazines?
Very few of the magazines starting up in the past 5 years can probably even remember buying off the rack in a bookstore. The magazines were all lined up. You’d stand around with a coffee in hand, making a vacation out of it. You eventually find one you like. You take it to the bench or chair nearby and peruse. You’re in a bookstore. Coffee in hand. Perusing something you actually like. Life is good.
What happened to the print magazine marketing world?
Well, a lot, actually. You can still have this bookstore magazine rack experience, coffee and all, if your bookstore is even open for business. But it’s very possible that the magazine rack isn’t even accessible due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. After all, you can’t Lysol magazine pages and then expect people to buy them — or even read them.
The truth is, of course, print was diminishing in growth for a long time, giving way to digital content consumption and online magazine versions. But as a publisher of a magazine, catalog, company magazine, annual report, brochure, or whatever it is you publish — it matters how you think about your online marketing channels in the digital age. In specific: organic marketing channels like social media marketing.
What is social media marketing, really?
Many talk about social media marketing without actually knowing what it is. Somewhat like SEO, there is a tendency to assume too much, to think one knows all there is to know by simply using it as a business client of an agency. But do you understand what social media marketing is?
Social media marketing includes social media advertising, and that’s a worthwhile avenue for those with the budget and the expertise in place. It takes time, patience, and strategy to avoid burning up your credit card on failure. But there is a way to do social media marketing without spending money and still generate real leads. And that way is organic social media marketing.
Social media is about social proof and networking with prospects and partners
Organic social media marketing for magazines involves more than just having a profile and posting a piece of content to your timeline, saying hello a few times and then retreating back into the shell. It’s about how your brand is perceived. If nothing happens on your magazine’s social profile, or worse, you don’t have one, it looks bad.
But that said, social proof involves more than just buying followers to look popular. In fact, that’s not how real leads are created. That’s how to create a cardboard peanut gallery, but it won’t help your bottom line.
Social media marketing means more than just saying that you should create a real social media following and then throwing up your hands after you fail to think up a way to make that happen on call. It does involve networking, but as you may already know, the social media sphere is large and wide. Most people you bump into will not be interested in what you’re doing, even if you think they should be. What gives?
There is a “right way” to network with brand prospects.
There are lots of real leads on social media. But the problem many have lies in thinking of social media as a separate world. It’s not. It’s a channel to be combined with your other channels.
What most newer marketing campaigns do is to try one channel at a time, fail at each with an en masse strategy, and then move on to the next platform on their list until they’ve concluded that social media marketing is “all hype”. What a sad state of affairs, especially for those trying to bring great content into the world.
Email, Twitter and organic search visibility all go together. They provide the social proof and branding to back up those ads when you finally run them with some understanding. Understanding any of them requires understanding all of them PLUS a good chunk of the basics of analytics. When all of these are reasonably understood, you should move on to trying to understand the buyer’s journey and site funnels, where “goals” of one kind or another are reached in your analytics solution.
Google Analytics measures these “goals”, whether they be marketing (campaign) goals like registering on your site for notifications about your latest content or “bottom-line” business goals like an actual subscription purchase or even the sale of branded merchandise.
But social media, even at this stage of the learning curve, still tends to recede to a rather passive place in the marketing hierarchy. That’s dead wrong! Social media is actually the top consideration for any online periodical or blog — period.
Why? Because it’s where all the action is. People liking, sharing, and commenting on your content out in public is the only way to get genuine social proof. Without that, you’re just another hawker of snake oil at the county fair. You need to stand out. You need authority behind your social updates and your content. Aside from branding (which is expensive and relies on a long history of advertising), the only way to achieve that is organic social media marketing.
So, to sum up…
What magazine-geared social media marketing is not
- Creating a profile
- Posting a few updates per month.
- Doing the social media equivalent of kissing a few babies and shaking a few hands
- Using hashtags merely to jump onto viral memes without regard to your niche
- Saying something personal and quirky once in a while to your “audience”
- Advertising now and then to your audience
- Giving up in despair after 3-6 months when nothing comes of any of it
What social media marketing for magazines is
- Creating a compelling, authority-signalling, personalized, keyword & hashtag optimized profile that promotes the brand as a brand
- Planning content and social updates that promote the branding, not just the brand
- Giving each social update your full care, social proof, making it count and shine on the timeline
- Networking with influencers to get help with generating awareness and links to your content on social media and elsewhere online
- Using hashtags to establish where your brand is situated within the larger culture and niche
- Demonstrating good customer service with caring public and private communications
- Avoiding political speech when it is too harsh and/or could exclude an audience you want
- A dedicated follower-building program that focuses on 100% REAL followers who are genuinely volunteering to follow you from within your niche
Most of these things take work. A lot of work. But the last of the list just above this sentence can be done by an outside team, up to an extent. Sure, you want people to jump on your train of their own accord, and they will. But there is a bit of a trick or two to getting that following started. That’s where a social media follower-building service can come in.
Feel you grasp what social media marketing is now, but not sure how to use social media marketing for magazines on your own? To get help getting your social media following kick-started with 100% authentic, autonomous, REAL accounts from within your niche or adjacent to your niche (think influencers), visit our social media service area on our LeadGen page here.