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Social Media for Magazines: Audiences Up in 2015

Last year was a good one when it comes to social media for magazines; plus, a spike in Meredith revenues, the Forbes strategy to block ad blockers; and Apple’s plan for subscription content

If you want to drive traffic – and revenue – as a digital publisher [1], social media for magazines is no longer a religious discussion. It’s a must-have component of your multiplatform strategy [2].

For those holdouts who consider social media strategy [3] a luxury, frivolity, or optional tactic, we do understand your reservations, to an extent: After all, there’s frankly a lot of junk out there … in the form of clickbait, shady referral traffic, and other drags.

But the upside is undeniable, with side-door traffic via mobile devices surging past traditional desktop homepage visits. With the likes of Facebook Instant Articles, Twitter marketing [4], and Snapchat promising publishers boosts in readership and sharing. And with plenty of opportunities to offer fans freemiums [5], subscription plans, and multimedia.

As MediaPost’s Publishers Daily [6] reports, when it comes to a social presence, build it, and they will come. Audience –and, more importantly, engagement – is increasing in unprecedented numbers.

Latest MPA Report Shows Surge in Social Media for Magazines

The Association of Magazine Media’s latest report on social media for magazines is out, and the upward trend continues for digital publishers, MediaPost’s Publishers Daily reports [7].

“Consumer magazines saw their total social media audience increase by over a third last year, adding around 220 million new likes and followers across major platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest, according to data provided by SocialFlow and cited by the MPA,” Erik Sass writes.

“That’s a 38% increase over the beginning of the year. The fastest-growing social platform was Instagram, with a 189% increase in magazines’ followings over the course of the year. Separate data from Shareablee showed that consumer magazines also generate more social-media activity than any other medium. Last year, mags produced 9.5 billion total social actions, compared to TV, with 7.5 billion, and online-only media with 6.6 billion.”

Meredith’s Fiscal 2016 Q2 Is a Record-Setting One

There’s great news for Meredith, as well, according to MediaPost’s Publishers Daily [8]: The publisher’s earnings report is highly positive, with overall revenues up, driven in large part by digital advertising [9].

Consumers are telling us loud and clear what they want—are you listening? How much would you pay for that information? Download a copy of our 2018 Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study [10] for FREE instead, to find out how you can improve your digital magazine rapport with subscribers.

“Both print and digital advertising revenues each increased more than 15%. Digital advertising revenues hit a record high, and accounted for 33% of total National Media Group advertising revenues,” Sara Guaglione writes.

“Total Company digital advertising revenues grew more than 15% to a record high. Digital advertising revenues accounted for a third of National Media Group total advertising revenues.”

Forbes Fights Back Against Ad Blocking Programs

Forbes is leading the charge in testing measures to combat ad blockers, MediaPost’s Publisher’s Daily reports [11].

“Forbes segmented site visitors using ad-blocking software into two groups. One group went past the opening message on the Forbes site. The second group of ad blockers received a message on the opening page, where visitors usually see the Quote of the Day. The message read: ‘We know you have your ad blocker on. Please disable it and in exchange you will receive an ‘ad-light experience’ on Forbes,'” Laurie Sullivan writes.

“The magazine found that of the test group, 44% in the initial pilot whitelisted Forbes, entered the site, consumed content and had an ‘ad-light experience.'”

Apple Introduces Subscription Content to News

Apple is adding a wrinkle to its News service that will hopefully help both publishers and readers, MediaPost’s Publishers Daily reports [12].

“Previously, Apple had been helping publishers recruit new subscribers by sharing certain content or excerpts of content for free, with an invitation to visit the Web site or app to become a subscriber. It will continue to offer these services,” Sass writes.

“Now, by allowing existing subscribers to log in and consume content on the platform itself, Apple News will be able to gather additional usage data which publishers can use to target advertising and their own marketing efforts.”

Social media for magazines is just one part of cultivating traffic. Download our free Organic Audience Development Strategy Handbook [13] to put all of the parts together. 

To read more about social media for magazines and other news, visit MediaPost’s Publishers Daily [6].