How Cosmopolitan (and others) ride the social media wave

World Newsmedia Network (WNMN) interviewed Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, responsible for leading the charge on an aggressive social media strategy, especially on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

The Cosmo interview is included in FIPP Insight’s latest special report, this one focused on social media. WNMN compiles the FIPP Insight special reports by collecting evidence-based data from sources around the world, analysing the data and providing commentary on top trends. The report also includes social media case studies from:

National Geographic (“National Geographic’s focused social media strategy”)

The New York Times (“Don’t try too hard to please Twitter – and other lessons from The New York Times’ social media desk”)

Read more and download the report – it is free – here.

“Our social media strategy is to take Cosmo to where the reader is, to have a young woman’s voice in whatever conversation is going on. If you’re a monthly (print) magazine, you only publish 12 times a year. What social media allows us to be is in a conversation whenever there is a conversation, and a way to give people a connection to the brand,” Coles said.

In March 2015, Cosmo entered the top 10 social media publishers in the US for the first time, according to Shareablee. The brand achieved 76 per cent growth in social engagement since February, largely due to a surge in Facebook interactions and including a huge increase of social engagement with social video.

According to Shareablee, “The two best performing posts were videos that reached viral status, receiving 27.3 million and 17.8 million video views respectively. The most socially engaged post, a video featuring a young man making an important point about body image, captured 1.3 million total actions including 294,442 shares. The second best performing (was a) video post with a little boy promoting his GoFundMe page (that) received over 1 million total actions including 440,093 shares.”

Cosmo is one of a handful of brands that launched on Snapchat Discover in early 2015. While conventional wisdom may hold that Snapchat is suitable to short, “snackable” pieces of content only, this is not necessarily the case.

Cosmo has been experimenting with short and long form pieces on the platform, including an interview with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg about getting married at 24 and divorced at 25, images from a Paris fashion show and tips about makeup application.

“If you go on [Snapchat], it’s really fun, really great. There’s no question that our readers spend a lot of time on Snapchat for short and long form journalism. It gives us the opportunity to do both.”

Coles declined to give specific advertising metrics, but advertisers creating native advertising for Cosmo on Snapchat Discover include Victoria’s Secret, Sperry and Verizon. 

“We keep the advertising numbers private because [Snapchat has] asked us to. The numbers are fantastic, and other media brands are desperate to get in on it,” she said. The same applies to user engagement numbers: “…The figures we have seen so far, the numbers are incredibly encouraging.”

Read more and download the FIPP Insight special report on social media – it is free – here.

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