With the print media diminishing slowly, companies are using social media to engage its users to stay more informed and help magazines survive. This slowdown is due to the success of online digital media which a user can access for free.
Companies are using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc. to increase their revenue by enhancing their magazine content. Facebook users can share the magazine links with their friends, groups etc. The simple reason behind publishing companies going online is that even though they have a large audience with the print editions, they cannot attract online participants. The power of social media has attracted people to get information on their fingertips within seconds.
According to a research report conducted in 2010 by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and market research firm IMRB, the total number of internet users in India is 71 million. Also, the amount of time that people spend online has increased from 9 hours to almost 16 hours a week.
Some of the interesting aspects as to why magazines are using more of social media:
- Real time information
- Magazines active on social media generally keep on posting real-time information to its users to keep them updated.
- The readers don’t have to wait for a daily, weekly or even monthly publication to find out what is going on.
- Twitter is one of the platforms where magazines tend to be more active sharing link, updates and posting their content.
- Outlook India and other news magazines, for example keep on updating real time news and articles on twitter.
- Open exchange of ideas & opinions
- Social media has become the place for people to exchange their ideas and opinions not only with each other but also other stakeholders like the influencers. For example, Autocar India’s Facebook page provides a platform for its users to participate in various discussions.
- Forbes India’s Facebook page updates users on its marketing campaigns and special events. They also monitor and reply to questions and feedback there.
- Know their target audience better
- Today, publishing companies are using social media to track people’s ideas and acting on the basis of the feedback provided. Magazines have always tried to understand what people like to read and now, are co-creating content with the readers.
- Online discussions on Facebook, Blogs etc. help the publication know its readers much better and cater to their interest.
- Vogue India, an Indian fashion magazine not only to caters to its readers by providing them the latest fashion tips and trends but has also a list of fashion bloggers contributing.
- Monetizing using social media
- Publications are using social media platforms to generate revenues from advertisements and Apps. Adding a regular updated post, blog or a tweet to you online page in an inexpensive way to build and improve conversion rates.
- Brands advertising on magazine’s Facebook page help the company improve on ratings and visits by fans too.
- GQ India, for example, has a Facebook page and well as a GQ Blackberry App. Therefore, readers can access the magazine not only from their personal computers, but also via phones.
- Expanding Content
- Apart from just publishing online articles, magazines are adding new contents like polls, games, events, real-time chats with celebrities etc. to attract users.
- Overdrive, a magazine that brings the latest from the world of automobiles has options like polls, events on its Facebook Page. Another example is of GQ India wherein they had collaborated with Facebook for the Men of the Year Voting in India contest. As a part of this, GQ online readers could vote for the Most Stylish Man of the Year using their Facebook account.
So, the idea of using social media and encouraging readers to access information online has fueled the overall user base. But, I think there is still a far way to go when we can say that old media has completely strained out, which means that the new media still needs the old media to survive. Print magazines and social media do work well together. Having a static product outside and incorporating the same online is surely a game winning strategy.