Overheard at conferences:
“We should do more, we know we should, but we just don’t have time.”
“We don’t have a good idea about what’s working.”
“Our audience doesn’t engage much on social media.”
Before you try to convince yourself your audience engagement level is just fine where it is, the stats: MPA releases benchmark social media study
Niche magazine publishers are always in the business of engaging their audience, whether it’s print, online, webinars, videos, events…the brand expansion list keeps growing. So how do small-to-medium publishers craft a cohesive social media plan that increases engagement–while not becoming a giant time-suck from their staff who also has to do so many other things?
Here are 6 rules of engagement to consider when amping up your social media plan:
1. Provide quality over quantity. You know this, but delivering exceptional content is worth your time, posting filler is not. Be consistent on the “when,” serve up superior content and your audience will respond. Survey your subscribers on a ongoing basis to understand what they want to read. Offer insight, ideas and answers, never pitch.
2. Determine the best platform. If you are a B2B, a combination of Twitter and Linkedin discussion groups may work best for you. B2C’s often do well on Facebook and Pinterest. Have you tried Instagram? The stats are compelling. Don’t just blanket your social media across all channels to see what sticks. Be strategic about it, make decisions on the right platforms for you based on your own data.
3. Niche your niche! Target specific segments of your audience database with customized messaging and always include sharing ability to increase reach and effectiveness.
4. Get choosy with your advertising. Create partnerships that not only make sense for your readers, but also match up with your content. You want to create a cohesive experience.
5. Have a delegation plan. If you have a small-staff, dedicate someone to the social media program or divide up months to everyone. The point is you must have someone at your magazine involved at all times. Response time is everything!
6. Don’t be afraid. Sometimes publishers don’t want to engage too often because they fear unknown backlash. If you are authentic and use common sense, you’ll be fine. Instead, look at this way: If you develop a loyal fan base, they will actually defend you if there’s some controversy. Embrace your people!
And here’s some expert advice from social media guru Jeffrey Rohrs:
“Social Media needs to be about you AND your focus. You don’t want to burn out your audience. Yes, there is this public cloud of interesting content to share. But you have to be giving in order to get. Engagement is key and you have to put in the sweat equity to have a successful social media program. That means you must be out there commenting and retweeting, etc., on what your fans say about different things—even if it is not directly related to you.“
Finally, how do you measure the effectiveness of your social media plan? Check out the new stats and research from Kevan Lee of bufferapp.com: New social media research
More about Jeff: Jeffrey Rohrs is CMO at Yext, a leading provider of digital location management software and solutions. As the former VP of Marketing Research & Education at ExactTarget, Jeff co-authored the award-winning SUBSCRIBERS, FANS & FOLLOWERS Research Series—an ongoing examination of how today’s online consumers interact with brands through digital channels such as email, Facebook, and Twitter.
About this blogger: Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Niche Media. A former sales director and corporate marketing hack, she has now found nirvana in writing and wrangling quality content. Diana is a food, wine, art and SF Giants enthusiast…who sometimes gets carried away.
Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments!
Image from freedigitalphotos.net