13 Ways to Maximize Social Networking
As more and more people flock to established social-networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Flickr, and look for new ways to connect with each other online around shared interests, publishers are eager to tap into the power of this social-media tool. However, many are unsure of how to best support their brands via social networking, how to allocate time and resources to this new endeavor, and importantly, if and how their efforts will pay off. Here, seasoned publishing executives who have delved into the social-networking waters offer tips for using and profiting from it:
Tips From …
Bill Oakes, online manager, ChicagoMag.com
ChicagoMag.com, the online component of Chicago magazine, has always published with a social slant, keeping Windy City denizens current on dining, nightlife, culture, news, politics, communities and trends in the region. Recently, the magazine site has also begun feeling its way into the whirlwind social-media and -networking arena. Online Manager Bill Oakes relates the site’s efforts and offers a few tips for social-networking newbies.
1. Join established social-networking sites.
“We’re just starting to dig into [social networking],” Oakes reports. “We’ve had a Facebook page for about a year, and just started using Twitter.” The site established its Facebook presence principally to increase its audience and extend its brand. “We’re not really looking to make money from it yet,” he acknowledges.
ChicagoMag.com will continue to test the social-media waters via these established social-networking services, says Oakes. “For us, social networking is a low-hanging fruit,” he explains. “If Facebook generates more traffic [to] our site, that’s great. If we see things happening, we’ll expend more effort. If not, no big deal.” Oakes estimates that 500 to 600 people are following ChicagoMag.com on Facebook.
2. Tap your internal resources.
Oakes suggests that a publisher interested in social networking first explore internal resources. “If you have young people on your staff using Twitter or Facebook, grab them for lunch and pick their brains,” he advises. “If they seem really energetic, have them set up a page for you.”