5 social media values for digital publishers
Publishers should constantly ask the question: how am I telling my story across the many social media platformsPublishers should constantly ask themselves: How am I telling my story across the many social media platforms? Is it coming across in an effective and coherent manner? What should my organization be focusing on?
Here are five social media values for publishers
Learn from others' mistakes
Imagine ceding a $10 billion revenue stream just as the economy is going into a recession. That's exactly what the newspaper industry did, shrinking an astonishing 92% over the past decade. Marc Cenedella marks the perilous decline of the U.S. newspaper industry's help wanted classified ad revenue from 2000-2010 (below). It's grim stuff.
Don't make that same mistake. "For the next decade, an estimated 50% of digital marketing growth will accrue to social media plus digital coupons and online/mobile promotional investments, aka Social Commerce," writes media economist Jack Meyers. "... Newspapers and Yellow Pages stood by passively as Google and Craigslist destroyed their classified and retail ad businesses."
As advertising veers towards social media, publishers must aggressively pursue online growth while moderating declines in print. Which leads us to ..
Have an experimental spirit
Real rewards, as we are now finding, builds engagement as well as brand loyalty. Gamification -- the use of social media gaming mechanics applied to tasks -- is not the first, nor will it be the last digital publishing trend. Is your organization nimble enough to experiment with the zeitgeist?
"Experimenting requires humility, agility, ability to learn from mistakes," writes Frederic Filloux, head of the French digital press consortium, on Monday Note. "Let’s admit it: such traits are in short supply in century-old news organizations that -- until recently -- thrived on their unchallenged confidence."
The ability to experiment is probably the most important value for anyone engaged in any form of digital publishing.
Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch used to ask "How am I doing?" Governing a sprawling, multi-ethnic municipality like New York means constantly keeping abreast of the needs of one's constituents. How much more massive, by comparison, is the web?
"It's never been easier to start a company since Twitter exists," Jack Dorsey, the co-creator of Twitter is quoted by Ryan Singel in Wired. "We get this instant pulse of what's happening around any topic."
Take a listening tour, often, of what is being said about your organization. Gain audience insights. Check out the #hashtags important to your subject matter. Immerse yourself in those topics.
An academic study by Famecount found that there is statistical correlation between social media popularity and stock prices.
Mobile, mobile, mobile
The mobile space is volatile. The mobile-based social media presence at the influential SXSW was tremendous. How important is mobile?
A couple of journalists asked MondayNote's Frederic Folloux about how to resuscitate a trade journalism brand. "Forget about the typical website: Go mobile first," he responded. "With an smartphone app, or a mobile website, you’ll have room to maneuver."
What is your organization doing with mobile apps? What is your organization doing with photo sharing apps? Are you a hyperlocal? Have you thought of integrating the brand new photo sharing app Color? This is the sort of thinking that you might want to pursue in figuring out your mobile strategy.
Remember: You are in the storytelling business
Once again, publishers should constantly ask themselves: How am I telling my story across the many social media platforms? Am I effective?
There was a great amount of excitement surrounding NewsCorp's The Daily. "After all, this was the first mobile platform where storytellers could truly converge the use of words, text, video, still photography, audio, art, interactive graphics or anything else you could think of that would enhance the storytelling process," Larry Kramer writes. Kramer concludes that thus far the effort is inadequate to the advantages that the tablet platform presents.
How are you telling your story on Twitter? On Facebook? Do you differentiate between how you tell your story on Twitter and how you tell your story on Facebook? Should you?
How can you use YouTube to enhance your story telling process with video? Are you benefiting from LinkedIn, which just passed the 100 million member mark?
Mark Luckie, the national innovations editor at the Washington Post, recently coined the term "unwebable" for stories that have no legs online but appear in print publications. Ultimately, identifying stories that have social media legs and promoting those stories in the appropriate manner in the appropriate social media venue may be the second most important value for a digital publisher to have.
The second most important value after an experimental spirit.