In a recent interview with Folio, Brian Madden, general manager at Hearst, discusses the importance of social media in the publishing industry and the particular role it plays at Hearst’s 20 magazine brands. According to Madden, the new social media team will work closely with other departments to turn “insights into action.” They will assist in creating a link between the social community and Hearst to expand audience and engage consumers. The group will also help grow revenue through social media.
Currently, the team has three members, but the integration of the group into other departments makes it a collaborative company effort. From 2010 to 2011, traffic to Hearst saw a 250% increase. The new social media group plans to make it grow even further to over 300% over the next year.
Madden says there are 5 notable trends in the industry: a large portion of traffic is now coming from social media; consumers are getting recommendations through social media rather than search engines; individuals have begun to purchase products via social media; the social graph, Facebook’s mapping of user’s networks provides rich and useful data; and Google+’s intertwining of search and social has created a unique platform for finding new products and services.