Although it’s now a critical tool for publishers, some are still struggling to get the most out of social—whether it’s their content strategy or organisational structure.
Here, min chats with Elisa Benson, social director for some of the largest women’s titles including Seventeen.com, Cosmopolitan.com and Redbookmag.com, about social media teams, engagement and more. Benson will also join our list of standout speakers for min’s November 10th social media bootcamp.
min: Is it necessary for publishers today to have editors and teams solely devoted to social media? Or can existing editors wear multiple hats?
Elisa Benson: Publishers absolutely need social media teams—the same way you need writers and designers and video editors and photographers and other people with specific skill sets. When I first started tweeting awards shows for Cosmopolitan, photos didn’t even show up on Twitter. And now live-tweeting is about creating video clips and GIFs in real time. The social landscape changes very quickly, and it’s crucial to have people paying attention to those changes and steering the brand. Just because you have a personal Twitter account and a few thousand followers doesn’t mean you can navigate a Facebook algorithm change, or create a compelling Snapchat story, or understand what Instagram photos drive boosts in followers and which ones don’t.
min: How do you define ‘engagement’ for your own terms, and how does that definition change across platforms?
Benson: Engagement is the best indicator that your social posts aren’t boring. Take Instagram—a photo can be beautiful and technically well executed, but that doesn’t mean people will leave a comment or even ‘like’ it. You pay attention to the engagement metrics—which just means the sum total of comments and likes and shares on a post—so you know your followers care.
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