How Important is Two-Way Conversation?

27 02 2010

All too often a company starts using social media tools such as blogs, facebook pages, and twitter accounts and then fails to keep up with them.  The point of these tools is to provide a two-way conversation between constituents and companies.  Not responding to comments or responding too late, leaves consumers and shareholders wondering about the happenings of a company, ultimately leaving a question of credibility.

Last week, Rolling Stone Magazine’s website displayed a message saying ‘What are you looking for?’.  Immediately after discovery, Twitter posts began popping up as well as blog posts concerning the reasoning behind Rolling Stone’s site message.

Although I am sure they were more concerned with getting the site back up, not responding to posts and comments escalated into skepticism of the magazine’s business actions (like the loss of funds and forgetting to renew the domain name).  It wasn’t until a news article that people’s skepticism was put to rest.  Even now there isn’t much information, but the site has gone back up.  Perhaps they should devise a new social media strategy to ensure there are no questions left unanswered.  Companies that keep up on their social media tools leave followers with clarification and satisfaction.  Do you think there is any time that a company should steer clear of responding?  If so, when?


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?