Pass It On: Content, Marketing To Be Shaped By Social Media
Facebook has fundamentally changed the way magazine publishers need to understand content presentation and marketing strategies, David Kirkpatrick, author and former technology editor at Fortune magazine, told Seventeen Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket during a keynote interview at the American Magazine Conference, held earlier this week in Chicago.
Kirkpatrick's bestseller, "The Facebook Effect" has been nominated for the 2010 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. Sales have no doubt been helped by the release of the movie "The Social Network," which Kirkpatrick told the crowd contains a number of historical inaccuracies, including the idea that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was inspired to create the service because of a break up with his girlfriend, whom he later was unable to even get to be his online "friend."
One thing that is true in the movie, Kirkpatrick said, is that Zuckerberg's former partner Eduardo Saverin did not believe enough in Facebook, leaving the upstart company after only a few months—an attitude he warns publishers not to take toward social networking as the media and marketing landscape shifts under their feet.
Understanding Users as an Audience
Magazine publishers need to think of their customer primarily as the reader rather than the advertiser, Kirkpatrick believes. "The readers have been the subject of surveys and focus groups, but ... we don't really want them to mess up what we're doing. In fact, the world we're living in now does not allow for the luxury of that anymore. If it ever worked, it can't work now."
Fundamentally, Facebook represents the empowerment of the individual, and publishers need to recognize the extraordinary ease and variety of tools made available to individuals willing to share and pass on information.
Every Facebook user is a publisher and content creator, Kirkpatrick noted. "You gain authority that you never [previously] would have had as a consumer, customer and follower," he said.