Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Time to Raise Your Editorial Standards: Twitter and Facebook Are a Crutch

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Time to Raise Your Editorial Standards: Twitter and Facebook Are a Crutch

Article excerpt

INTERNET PUBLISHING TODAY may seem complicated but in fact our industry is governed by a simple paradox: the easier you make it for people to publish information, the lower the quality of the information they produce, and the smellier the audience that reads it.

This trend reaches its nadir--or, apex, depending on how much pre-IPO stock you own--in social networks like Twitter and Facebook, where the door is always open (welcome, Internet loonies!) and there are no restrictions on what you can post, regardless of how annoying or how vacuous, with the corollary that most of the content found therein is as valuable as an old tea bag, with audience demographics to match. (It's not a coincidence that LinkedIn, which at least nods in the direction of organizing its audience along business lines, has marginally better demographics than either Twitter or Facebook.)

For b-to-b publishers whose job it is to help their advertisers reach qualified buyers, the lesson is simple: Stay away from Twitter and Facebook, focus on your core competency of publishing high value proprietary information on your own sites; the ones that attract the 'haves' rather than the 'haven't a clues'.

Balancing What You Should Do With What Your Clients Want

The problem is that while Internet publishers know what they should do, their customers want the opposite and are clamoring for programs which hinge on these giant consumer social networks.

In fact these days it's almost impossible to sell someone an integrated marketing campaign that doesn't come festooned with widgets connecting to and from, yes, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This is a dangerous game because, in so doing, publishers risk ending up with some very unhappy clients.

Full disclosure: I run a company that offers a service for advertisers which includes building and curating their social network presences on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. …

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