Magazines should link to print to boost online engagement

Magazine brands looking to build up a more engaged following on social media should link back to their offline product, despite dwindling print readership, according to a report.

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Qualitative analysis by Ipsos Mori of seven of the UK’s biggest women’s weeklies suggests that the brands that ask for feedback on their magazines or pose questions based on topical news stories were the most likely to have the highest number of likes, comments, replies and retweets.

Magazines that retweet or reply to their fans also increase repeat interaction, which Ipsos Mori says will help them to become readers’ long-term “brands of choice”.

The number of Facebook fans or Twitter followers a magazine has does not necessarily reflect the amount the audience engages with the brand on the social networks, the study finds.

The report found that although Northern & Shell’s OK! magazine has more than 179,000 fans across Facebook and Twitter, its fans engage with the brand less than Bauer’s More audience, which was 137,000 at the time of analysis in August.

More’s “Social Heat Index” – the relative score averaged between its audience size, number of posts and interaction from fans across Facebook and Twitter – was 71.2% compared to OK!’s 53.4%.

In June More co-created an entire issue of the magazine with its Facebook fans to mark reaching more than 100,000 followers.

Of the seven women’s weeklies analysed, Bauer’s Heat was the brand found to have the most engaged audience, with a score of 81.8%. Heat had a social media audience of more than 250,000 at the time of the research.

The women’s weekly magazines sector’s print circulation declined 8% year on year to 7.5 million according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation report for the six months to June.

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