Magazines Joining the Conversation

8 07 2010

So far it appears as though social media can be a tool that either makes or breaks traditional media and this is no different with magazines. It’s no secret that magazines have been hit hard by the recession and low circulation, but some magazines are turning to new media for help. Among such magazines are Lapham’s Quarterly and Seventeen.

Take one look at Lapham’s Quarterly website and it will not take long to realize they have embraced social media. The magazine uses Twitter, Facebook, and podcasts to keep this historically themed magazine in tact with current conversations. Check out their Twitter page and you can see how they join in on conversations by taking historical events or dates and appropriately put them into modern context. Their Facebook page allows them to post relevant articles and hear what people are saying about them. Since Lapham’s Quarterly is only published 4 times a year (obviously), the magazine uses social media to keep their audience engaged between magazines and to cost-effectively market subscriptions.

Other than selling subscriptions, Seventeen Magazine has been utilizing social media to incorporate advertisers and tap into their audience’s conversations in an effort to improve content. The magazine allows advertisers to pay to jump in on their conversations but Seventeen makes it clear to advertisers that they are granted this opportunity to build their brand, not to sell a product. The magazine uses Facebook to listen in on their audience and hear what they want from the magazine. Sometimes they will ask questions, offer exclusive subscription rates, or just see what people are talking about. Their Youtube channel gives the magazine video content that even further engages their audience. Whatever the case, magazines like Seventeen can enjoy some benefits by conversing online through new media.

With magazine readership and circulation rates on the decline, social media offers a whole new platform for experiencing magazines. New media allows participants to share content with their friends and indirectly promote the magazine by retweeting or posting links, but will this be enough to save the magazine industry? Do you think magazines will soon only be offered in an online format? If so, when? Are you subscribed to a magazine that offers online content? If so, what do you think about it?

(Here is where I was going to embed a youtube video from Seventeen’s channel but I realized they are not relevant and there is no point in making you suffer through one of those videos!)

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3 responses

12 07 2010
Christine Lewandowski

There is definitely something special about holding a fresh glossy magazine in your hands while in the waiting room. A magazine offers news updates and advice to very particular audiences. And sometimes they smell nice too! Because of this, I don’t think the magazine will die out just yet. However, it definitely important as you mentioned to stay relevant and offer online content.

Online content enables consumers to stay interested in the magazine, and I think its great that social media is now enabling consumers to have a voice in the content that they will being reading.

18 07 2010
Eric Gustafson

Social media is definitely a great way of keeping readers engaged and up to date between issues. I see a lot of TV shows doing similar things, such as putting out teasers and video clips between episodes and it is good for building up the plot, etc.

I don’t think we’ll see only online magazines in the near future, as there are still a lot of “old school” readers that want the real deal in their hands. A lot of people also have difficulty looking at computer screens for extended periods of time as well. However, at the same time, there are many online-only magazines out there.

19 07 2010
Sean Munley

I agree with the both of you and I hope we are correct because theirs just something about having tangible media that you can’t get from online media.

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