More than this

Digiday's Josh Sternberg recently reported on the varied approaches that periodical publishers employ when managing their social media presences. More a round-up than an exhaustive assessment, Sternberg's report covered four publishers:

  • Mashable
  • The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
  • Quartz (part of Atlantic Media)
  • New York Magazine

Perhaps predictably, Mashable was the most focused on using social media to drive traffic to the site. Quartz, the other digital-first publisher, obtains as much as half of its traffic from social sites, but it leaves responsibility with its writers. That may reflect the smaller size and relatively new nature of the Atlantic Media property.

By comparison, the WSJ uses its social-media staff as distributors of content, though it does assign one person to manage comments (let's have a moment of silence for the person who has that job). New York Magazine puts its people in "dual editorial and marketing roles", creating content and implementing social strategies for various components.

With four data points in hand, it is risky to draw conclusions (and Sternberg didn't). In some cases, roles are blending; in other instances, publishers have taken steps to segment social from other, more traditional functions.

Interestingly, none of the publishers mentioned LinkedIn as a platform they support or use for distribution. Sternberg has already covered LinkedIn's content-development efforts, a market position that could have led the publishers to see LinkedIn as a competitor more than a platform.

Those interviewed may also have tested LinkedIn and found it wanting. Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus were all mentioned, but there must be more to social strategy than that, right?

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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