Exploring Publisher Strategy in the 'Pinteresting' World of Social Media
Social media experts spoke of rapid changes, opportunities and strategies in the "pinteresting" world of social media in a session at the recent Publishing Business Virtual Conference & Expo.
Social marketing is not an afterthought or "something that your 17-year old nephew can do," Rebecca Schinsky, associate editor and community manager of Book Riot, said. "Social marketing is your brand voice to the world."
Social media marketing goals should include brand awareness, positioning as an industry influencer and community engagement, Schinsky noted.
When choosing a platform, think about what best fits your product, she said. A highly visual product such as a cookbook is well-suited to Pinterest, for instance, whereas Facebook allows deeper dives into the nature of what you have to offer. Whatever you choose, make a commitment to the platform and stick to it—followers can tell if a social media page is neglected or infrequently updated.
Schinsky also offered advice for pursuing a strategic approach to social media strategy based on revenue considerations rather than responding to fads.
Kate Kelly Smith, SVP, publishing director and chief revenue officer of House Beautiful, said social media has been a key component of overall brand strategy, tied into events, digital and print products. Print-to-mobile connections are encouraged by allowing readers to scan pages using image recognition technology, driving, for instance, thousands of readers to a sponsored blog site or House Beautiful Pinterest page. The magazine sees an average of 79 Pinterest page views per follower—especially remarkable considering the magazine's first Pinterest engagement only dates from June of this year.
Greg Wacks, director of content and community at Spreecast, explained how his social video platform works for book and magazine publishers. The service goes beyond a simple broadcast, he said, due to the interactivity enabled by a multiple-user experience and ability to integrate with Facebook, Google+ and other social tools. Simultaneous ads allow for monetization opportunities as audiences interact in a producer-curated environment with book authors and other media personalities.