How are publishers managing social media?

Publishers are seeing social as a big traffic driver across the board, says Digiday, but the question remains how to organise for this.

For some very socially savvy publishers like a Mashable, this can mean a team of five-strong and a detailed strategy for matching pieces of content to the appropriate social platform. Yet for others, social is a much looser affair, involving perhaps a junior employee but with the burden ultimately falling on the content creators themselves to provide social juice.

Mashable, which bills itself as a social publisher, is on the extreme end. It has a five-person social team, responsible for organizing social strategies across the whole company to help bring readers to the site. The team reports to the CMO, Stacy Martinet. This is no side task: Mashable has about 10 million followers across the social platforms.

For example, when a writer writes a story about a topic, the social team decides the social networks to target and when to push the messages out. Mashable writers are expected to do their own social promotion.

“Their purpose is to organise social,” said Robyn Peterson, Mashable’s CTO. “While everyone is responsible for social execution, there has to be a brain center for social strategy. They’re truly responsible for the same things marketing is responsible for: creating best brand experiences for our readers and following and driving traffic to the site.”

The Wall Street Journal has seven on its social media team who are considered journalists. Liz Heron, the WSJ’s director of social media, said that she hires people who understand the core principles of journalism; they can all report and write and some shoot and edit video. While everyone is dedicated to community building on social, there is one person whose charge is to focus on comments. The WSJ has a combined six million social followers on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

Read the rest of this story at Digiday.

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