According to Chris Kevorkian, chief marketing and digital officer for the MPA (Association of Magazine Media), “social media enhances consumption of and engagement with magazine content.” A benchmark study conducted by MPA on the relationship between social media platforms and magazine media readers (18- to 34-year-old age category) dubbed “Magazine Readers Are Social,” investigated the consumption and interaction of social media users regarding the different types of new and traditional media, and found that–contrary to what many would believe–social media consumption has actually been enhancing users’ relationships with magazines.
Kevorkian clarified the overarching theme of the survey results, indicating that the integration of social media and magazines has enriched the magazine experience: “The results of MPA’s new study clearly demonstrate that social media enriches the magazine reading experience, and that magazine media readers—on all platforms—are creating communities around and engaging with the magazines and editors they know and love.”
Overall, the study is a great sign; however, it’s not surprising. Users typically read magazines because they have a unique personality. Cosmopolitan comes from the standpoint of a “Fun, fearless female” while GQ, one could say, has the personality of a witty, intelligent and successful gentleman. This is an advantage that magazines have over “un-baised” newspapers, who are forced, for the most part, to take a dry, objective stance. And since print content is somewhat limited to the number of issues distributed–i.e. you’ve got to get your hands on a physical copy, often available simply once a month–readers and fans are attempting to connect more often with their favorite magazines and create a true back and forth…an interative relationship. They’re using social media to do this.
- Click to check out the report for yourself
Check out some key stats from the study regarding how magazine readers and social media users overlap and are often the same…
Magazine readers (18-34) are highly connected social media users:
- 68% believe that technology has improved the experience of accessing various media
- 62% feel that the more media they can access to learn about a story or topic, the better informed they become
- An overwhelming majority use Facebook (91%), followed by YouTube (61%) and Twitter (40%)
- The majority (80%) own a personal mobile device.
“Avid” readers tested higher than any other category in social media interaction and are dubbed the most engaged, frequently “following” their magazine of choice across multiple social interfaces such as Twitter and Facebook.
- 38% of respondents described themselves as “avid magazine readers.”
- 95% of avid readers read printed titles. 43% read digital editions
- 59% of readers (66% avid) enter contests on Facebook or Twitter in order to win products or receive discount
- 53% of readers (63% avid) download coupons from a company’s Facebook page
- 63% of avid readers have visited a magazine’s Facebook page. 62% have posted magazine articles to Facebook, and more than a third have uploaded content to a magazine’s Facebook page
- 69% of avid readers using Twitter follow a magazine brand on Twitter.
Many readers utilize a magazine’s social media platforms for the same reason that they pick up the print edition in the first place–to enter contests, check out promotions, and cash in on coupons. What this breaks down to is that a publisher can share similar information across multiple interfaces (both print and social media), and users will remain interested and engaged. This is a strategy every publisher should take advantage of as it becomes more and more evident that digital sharing can escalate content views.
Some more stats to take a look at…
- 59% of total respondents visit a magazine’s Facebook page because the content is relevant to them
- 41% for special offers, contests and games
- 32% for special offers from advertisers
- 54% for special offers, contests and games
- 30% for links to articles