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The secrets of social media success

Cosmopolitan has seen considerable growth in its social audience over the last few years. How did they do it?

By James Evelegh

The secrets of social media success

There once was a dream. You could create a piece of content once and publish it everywhere. What joy, what efficiencies. New platform? No bother! Just add another output button.

Of course, it was never quite as simple as that. COPE (create once, publish everywhere) soon became CORE (create once, repurpose everywhere), which at least recognised that each platform had different requirements.

Even then, there was the hope that “repurposing” might amount to little more than playing around with the image and wordcount.

Err, no. One of the main takeaways from our latest podcast, an interview with Claire Hodgson, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan UK, was that each platform needs its own approach and tailored content.

Cosmopolitan has seen considerable growth in its digital and social channels over the past seven years. Based on what Claire had to say, these are my seven tips for social media success:

  1. Invest in great people. Hire specialists who not only know how to use social media, but who actually use it themselves.
  2. Tailor your content for each platform. Don’t assume that one piece of content can be, or has to be, used across more than one platform.
  3. Treat each platform team as a pureplay. If you see social media platforms merely as a conduit for centrally produced content, then you are limiting your social media teams’ potential.
  4. Be where your audience is. To be relevant, you need to be on the platforms your audience uses.
  5. Embrace the new! If your heart sinks when you hear the words “new platform”, then you’re probably in the wrong job. If a new platform comes on stream where your audience is likely to be hanging out, see that as an opportunity, not simply as extra workload.
  6. Engage with people on the platforms. It should be two way.
  7. Be authentic and true to your brand. If it looks like you’re just chasing numbers, then you come across as insincere. Get it right and the numbers will come.

Of these, #1 is probably the clincher. As Claire said, “investment is so important; you can’t make something for nothing – investing in great people, particularly, is essential.”

You can catch James Evelegh’s regular column in the InPubWeekly newsletter, which you can register to receive here.