Magazine article Editor & Publisher

To Tweet or Not to Tweet? Integrating Social Media into the Publishing Workflow

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

To Tweet or Not to Tweet? Integrating Social Media into the Publishing Workflow

Article excerpt

YOU KNOW THAT SOCIAL MEDIA IS IMPORTANT. MOST likely, you have a social media strategy. But do your tools and publishing workflow support that strategy?

There are many questions to consider, such as which social media sites and services to focus on and who in your organization should head up these efforts. But I think answering two questions is the key to social media success.

How do you define social media success?

Are you hoping to increase your traffic and revenue metrics measurably, or are you more interested in repositioning your brand as part of a long-term strategy to attract younger readers?

Brad Hill, managing editor of the Huffington Post Media Group's blogging sites, said how publishers balance these factors varies.

For publications with great viral presence, social media can account for more than half of external traffic, Hill said, but added: "For other publications, traffic crossover isn't as meaningful as the branding effect."

The most viral sites tend to be those created for the Internet, founded less than 10 years ago, and geared mostly toward social media. A newspaper may have the occasional story that goes viral. But for it to pay off day after day, viral exposure needs to be a core goal, not a happy accident.

Mike Porath is senior vice president of programming for Buzz Media, which operates more than 30 sites geared toward pop culture, including Just Jared and Stereogum. Porath's sites and bloggers have more than 30 million followers on Facebook and Twitter. Some have seen 300 percent growth in the past year. "Social media is certainly something we focus on," Porath said.

But most media brands predate Facebook and Twitter, and have established reputations going back years or decades. For those brands, social media is important but must fit into a larger brand concept and way of presenting the company. Remember, you're trying to share your brand and content with more readers. If you cover serious topics, you should do this in a serious way, because that's what readers will expect in any medium.

Which leads to the second question:

Automation or curation?

Do you want every article to go on Twitter when someone clicks the publish button, or do you want your social media presence to be managed by a human, in a tone that reflects your publication's tone? …

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