How Relevant is Social Media to Different Types of Magazines?

24 02 2010

When it comes to social media and the level of use by a magazine, audience plays a tremendous role.  Political and business publications have jumped right on the social media craze.  Time magazine has provided their consumers with a free online newsletter (which includes daily news, their weekly top 10, and photos of the week),  mobile apps (featuring blogs, news sections and popular articles), their facebook app which was innovated back in 2007, and a media kit that gives multiple countries an editorial calendar and biographies.  The consumers of publications, like Time, are in the position to have to keep up with such technologies; it is their industry after all.  Most are technologically savvy and have the means to be.

One type of magazine that really shows how important audience is in the implementation of social networking tools are outdoors’ magazines.  When looking at sites such as Bassin’, Blade and Boating World the social media use, if any, was usually a blog and/or forum, maybe a media kit, and feeds.  Although I was unable to go to every single outdoors magazine site, this seemed to be the norm.  Perhaps this is because the followers of such publications are usually outdoors.  Do you think that with the heightened use of mobile devices, magazines dealing with outdoors will begin moving toward more use of social media tools?




5 responses

25 02 2010
Aaren Cecere

Although it is clear why some magazines use social media more than others, I feel like outdoor-type magazines have a very niche following that they may find it very beneficial to use more social media, that way local magazines of that nature could expand their reach or you could create a very tight community stretching across countries. However, blogs and forums might be the best types of media to use for sharing the best places, best equipments, and stories. But I’m sure everything will eventually venture towards a more centralized social media plan because these networks are growing rapidly and don’t show much risks that outweigh the benfits of being involved.

26 02 2010
Mary-Kate Wilson

I don’t know if mobile devices will necessarily impact the use os social media on outdoor magazines. As Aaren said above, such magazines have a specific niche following, and I would assume that the people who are interested in these types of magazines are usually in the outdoors experiencing it during the day. They hardly have time to text or mobilize about it because they are busy doing outdoorsy activities. Although, I do think that internet-type media may increase, like blogs and online forums, but not necessarily mobile devices.

27 02 2010
Dustin Woolridge

Reiterating what Aaren said, outdoor magazines have a very loyal following, and so for that reason, I don’t know if implementing a bunch of social media tools will really have on impact on their readership. The types of people who subscribe to outdoor magazines will probably keep reading with or without online newsletters or facebook applications — this type of stuff just seems like extra novelties.

On the other hand, I can see why news magazines like Time would get involved with “Web 2.0.” I’m sure most everyone subscribes to Time or Newsweek wants to stay up-to-date with current events on a daily basis, and receiving their news via e-mail or facebook is a great to help them do just that.

27 02 2010
Taylor Scott

I think I agree with Mary Kate and Aaren on this one. Outdoor magazines don’t seem like they really have much use for social media in their field. I mean, of course they could use relatively basic forms of social media like blogs, but when it comes to social-networking sites I don’t think that their consumer groups would find it very useful. Think about it, a rough and tumble outdoors-man who is out in the woods hiking and fishing all day is probably not going to be checking his BlackBerry every hour for updates from his favorite sporting goods store. Blogs on the other hand may be a wise investment because this would allow for two-way communication between the companies and their constituents about what products are thriving and which ones are falling flat.

28 02 2010
Amy Morgan

I think that audience is key in answering this question. The others have said this too and I have to agree – social media outlets for these types of magazines probably will not impact readership one way or another. However, like Dustin said, there are some magazines who are extremely wise in using social media outlets for their magazines. A large portion of the audiences that are reading political and news magazines are the people who are constantly checking for updates and such and who are involved in the social media community. It probably would be a detriment to these magazines if they did not have social media outlets.

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