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The Social Media Publishing Model for Publishers

I delivered a presentation yesterday at the Minnesota Magazine and Publishers Association (MMPA) about how publishers can leverage social media channels to grow their online footprint (and revolutionize their business).  Below is the presentation, but here are a few key takeaways.

  • Social media is not cheap, it’s a different kind of expensive (Jay Baer). Publishers that just look to integrate social media as a distribution channel only will not deliver on their promise to become the industry expert everywhere their customers are. Committing to changing your processes as it relates to social media is not cheap…it takes a number of resources, time and energy to properly implement.  Be prepared.
  • What business are you in as a publisher? If you believe that your core business is publishing, then you are competing with the entire world (we are all publishers today).  As a publisher, you need to rethink your business (are you in the business of providing engaging experiences for your niche customers?).

5 Steps to a Social Media Model that Rocks

  1. Find out where your customers are hanging out
    Identify the blogs, social media niche sites, online portals and forums and any other place where your customers (readers) are hanging out.  Read the discussion on the targeted sites.  Assign resources to getting active in those communities and commenting. Continually provide helpful information, positioning you as a clear expert in those communities.
  2. Sign up key bloggers and niche sites to align with your publishing brand
    One of the reasons that MarketingProfs Daily Fix has been so successful is that they have partnered with experts from around the marketing world to contribute to their blog. Those contributors not only deliver assets to MProfs, but they share that content into their own social media networks. What MProfs has done is tap into a number of communities, without having to own those communities. This is something that all publishers should be doing.Should we be thinking like AOL or Yahoo!? (gasp) Many people don’t realize that both these organizations have been snapping up niche content sites for years (like AOL and Engadget), and those sites have become one of their most important assets.  If niche publishers can start to build relationships with outside bloggers and niche industry sites, it opens the opportunity for partnership or possibly purchase in the future.
  3. Changing the content process
    Remember the days of being assigned as an editor to a story and having the output be the story? Those days are coming to an end. As Dan McCarthy suggests, publishers must change their content generation process. Instead of just a content output of a print story, content creators deliver content throughout the process – tweets, photos, podcasts, content packages, etc.  Instead of one output, there may be 10, 20, or even 30 pieces of content. Readers are interested in being more involved in your brand. This opens up the hood, and lets your readers in.Content Publishing Model
  4. Create employee rock stars
    Like Indium, take your employees (all your employees, not just your editors) and turn them into content creators. Set up blogs for each of your employees. Develop a social media policy. Train each employee how to write effectively for the web and share their experiences through social media. Currently, most niche publishers have just a few key content creators.  What if your entire organization told your brand story?  What would that do for your business?
  5. Assign an internal champion
    This social media publishing plan won’t just happen.  You need an internal driver.  Assign someone as your social media champion (someone with real passion for using social media). This person will be your lead trainer and cheerleader.

The presentation is below with additional social media ideas for publishers.  The point is this…if you are a publisher, you need to truly act like one.  These revolutionary changes will dynamically alter your future as a publishing brand for the better.

The Social Media Publishing Model for Publishers

View more presentations from Joe Pulizzi.