Should a magazine, regardless of its audience or niche, be on social media? I think the vast majority of marketers, and probably publishers, would say “of course.”
One magazine has firmly rejected the idea, and claims the decision is the right one for their audience.
As reported in AdAge, “Monocle, a niche but thick global affairs and lifestyle magazine, has opted out of the social media revolution. The magazine has no Facebook page, no Tumblr blog, not even a Google Plus.”
“Just because a new platform is out there, doesn’t mean you need to be on it,” explains Tyler Brule, Monocle’s editor in chief.
No social media presence, no social editor, no mandate to writers to add viral possibility into their pieces – simply a beautifully published magazine aimed at a highly targeted audience that stands on its own in this multi-channel-everything age.
One reason Brule cites for their anti-social stance is a healthy skepticism on the value of those social posts.
“I would love to see numbers about how many people read the tweet and then actually go to the main article,” says Brule, citing the “news flash” experience as a detriment.
So how do they engage new readers? Real human interaction, with in-person events and book tours that provide opportunities to relate in real life. And it works, he notes, citing the surge they see in subscriptions, newsstand sales and advertiser interest at each stop on the tour.
It works for Monocle because they know their readers, and seek to preserve their brand’s mystique.
“Being on all the time, I think there’s something a little bit cheap about it,” he says. “Being available all the time, in courtship just like in consumerism is probably not such a good idea.”
Well, hello breath of fresh air. May we say you are looking dashing today.
(Side note: We couldn’t help but notice the large “share this page” link and obligatory string of social icons at the top of AdAge’s piece. Has the digital age written the new rules so tightly that we no longer have to decide how, where and to whom to publish? Push “like” if you agree 😉