“Think like a publisher” has become one of the most oft-repeated mantras of the social media movement and for good reason. The average American is exposed to as many as 3,000 marketing messages a day (via commercials, billboards, banner ads, search advertising, logos, and more), a mere fraction of which are of real value to any given person at any given time. Getting someone's attention amid all this noise is a chore. Making an impression is a challenge. Engaging that person for an extended period of time is a truly formidable challenge. All those challenges, though, need to be the ultimate goals of any brand hoping to succeed at social marketing.
By now, most marketers are aware of the challenge. In fact, more than 90 percent of those surveyed by Forrester Research recognize that social media marketing has fundamentally altered the relationship between brands and their customers, forcing marketers to reconstruct their brand-building strategies.1 The good news is that the tools and techniques already exist to make it happen. The not-so-good news, at least so far, is that many marketers are unprepared to use these assets effectively.
Publishers are particularly adept at listening to public discourse and understanding how to leverage the popular zeitgeist by piggybacking on what people are thinking and talking about. Sharon Feder, chief operating officer at Mashable.com, is responsible for both building the news website's editorial ...