Never mind the folly of dismissing Goodreads, a social network dedicated to books with 13m+ members and is steadily growing, or even Pinterest, where Random House has inexplicably attracted 1.5m followers, but the very idea that “something is really, chronically missing in online retail discovery” is arguably contradicted by Amazon’s 2012 results, suggesting that “online retail discovery” isn’t really a problem for readers. It’s a problem for publishers.
For the third consecutive year, I had the pleasure of doing a presentation on social media for my friend Peter Costanzo’s M.S. in Publishing: Digital and Print Media class at NYU last night, and while preparing for it, I was surprised by how much has changed since the first time, and how much hasn’t. Pinterest and Tumblr are bigger deals now (or at least perceived as such), while Twitter is steadily maturing (from a business perspective), Facebook changes its approach every six months, and email is still the underrated king of the hill.
If you think of a “Like” as an opt-in, you’re as close to the value proposition of an email list as it gets outside of actually acquiring that email, and you should treat the content you post to your Facebook Page with as much care and attention as you do your email newsletters. Even better, think of your Facebook Page as a key component of your brand’s overall audience development strategy, complementing your website and email program, and as your audience there grows, leverage Facebook Insights as aggressively as your web analytics to inform and evolve your content strategy.
The latest edition of Book^2 Camp, a publishing and technology “unconference,” took place yesterday, and while it lacked the star power of last year’s Margaret Atwood appearance, it was another worthwhile Sunday afternoon full of thoughtful conversations about the future of publishing. Three quick takeaways.
Therein lies the real problem with Klout. While its Topics feature is an intriguing attempt to add a much-needed contextual layer to its linear scoring and might have some long-term potential (most likely as acquisition bait, to complement PostRank or Radian6?), overall, it’s a pretty useless, Foursquare-style gamification of the worst aspects of Social MEdia.