How to Revitalize Your Magazine’s Social Media Program

Content Marketing Guru Carla Johnson tells us how you can revitalize your social media programs.

Want to revitalize your social media strategy but not sure where to start? We recently checked in with content marketing guru Carla Johnson, who will be leading the session: Social Impossible  at the Niche Digital Conference in Nashville this fall.

It’s all about transforming your magazine’s social presence from just a bland corporate Facebook page to a vibrant social media powerhouse. We asked Carla to share with us some insights and take-aways on where to start and give some real-world examples.

Niche Media HQ: Most niche publishers want to revitalize their social media programs in some way. What are 3 questions they should ask themselves before they start?

Carla Johnson:

1 – Why am I even on social media?
2 – What social media platforms does my audience use, and why (if any)?
3 – What resources (time and team) do I have to commit to create a consistent experience through social media?

Niche Media HQ: Can you give us some real-world examples of how a new social media strategy helped an organization increase its brand awareness and how that led to increased ROI?

CJ: There are two things to take note of before looking at your social media strategy. First: What is the story that you’re trying to tell? Second: Who are the people you’re trying to reach and are they/where are they on social media? These two things have to solidly be in place before looking at a social media strategy.

An example is Jetsetter, a travel portal for worldwide destinations. They used Pinterest to expand their brand awareness and created a promotion that encouraged vacationers to pin their favorite destinations. The effort generated a great deal of interest and boosted web site referral traffic by 150%. It’s a great example, especially for smaller brands, of how matching the social media channel with their target audience can produce big results.

Niche Media HQ: Share with us about how to target different audiences with custom messaging plans. Why is this important?

CJ: You have to go through the process of developing personas and then tailor your story to meet what matters most to them. You always need the overarching consistency of story, but you have to talk to your audience in ways that are relevant to them. What words resonate with them? Include them in your messages. How do they want to access content? Use those channels to connect with them.

One of my favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

When you’re trying to connect with your audience, don’t think about what you want to say. Instead, think and how what you’re saying is going to make the individual people in your audience feel special. (Because they are!)

Niche Media HQ: What is coming in the “Super Cool” landscape that niche publishers should be on the lookout for?

CJ: The “super cool” thing I see isn’t a particular platform or tool, but it’s the creative ways that people are using them. GE used Tumblr to host a six-second science fair, focusing on how much science people can push into a six-second time frame. I also love how Steve Spangler Science uses YouTube to bring his story – making science fun – come alive. These are people who are creative in how they push the boundaries of tried and true platforms.

Niche Media HQ: What is your favorite guilty pleasure food?

CJ: Cheetos! The fluffy, puffy kind, not the crunchy ones. I’ve loved them since I was a little girl. Once I’ve opened a bag, there’s no stopping me.


More about Carla Johnson: As Principal of Type A Communications, Carla Johnson helps organizations build stronger brand engagement through content marketing and storytelling. Carla is also a consultant to to the Content Marketing Institute and author of the book “Advice from the Top: The Expert Guide to B2B Marketing.”


Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years, including the upcoming Niche Digital Conference this fall in Nashville. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events –  Check it out!

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