@EW: an entertainment publication twitter handle that barely entertains

Okay, here’s my thing.

I understand that big publications get a lot of people trying to interact with them and it’s hard to respond to everyone. I’ve seen similar posts from both The New York Times and The Washington Post. Still, just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t mean you can’t set yourself apart and be better.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about OVERSHARE.

 I think the Twitter handles of popular publications like Entertainment Weekly are there with a goal of sharing their content and driving traffic to their website, which makes perfect sense. However, there are opportunities in having a very specific audience with similar psychographics that I feel EW is not taking advantage of. EW is very good at being on top of their new articles and sharing them with their followers, but their problem is not that they aren’t keeping their audience updated; it’s that they are not interacting with them.

I was always told that social media should follow the “70-20-10” rule.

  • 70% of your content should be interacting with your audience. Find people in your target audience and speak with them; address their concerns, hear their opinions, make them feel included.
  • 20% of your content should be community sharing. For a targeted niche like entertainment, this would be where you might talk about Lindsay Lohan’s latest relapse, or the Kardashian wedding, or the hottest new fall TV shows.
  • 10% of your content should be shameless self-promotion. This is where you get to talk about yourself and all of the good your business is doing. This is also where you get to tell your audience what you can do for them.
For Entertainment Weekly, the rules change a little bit. Being a publication makes things a little different since the community content you might want to share is typically something you’re already covering. Still, there is an opportunity for more audience interaction that I feel isn’t being capitalized on. The Twitter handle (I’m assuming is being faciliated by their P.R. department) does a great job of sharing content with links that take you to their articles and a small blurb before it to peak your interest. Unfortunately the tone of their Twitter handle, while spoken conversationally, does not invite their audience into a conversation.
I think there is an opportunity to get their audience talking to them, and other EW fans, a lot more than they do already. Maybe taking the opportunity to post a question like “Who’s watching the season premiere of #CharliesAngels tonight?” might invite their fans to sound off. Retweeting a few of their followers might even make their followers feel more of a devotion to their brand. Better yet, even responding directly to a few of them will do wonders for their brand loyalty.
Don’t believe me? Look at how effective it is for Biggby Coffee.
I know that the goal of their Twitter handle is to drive traffic to the website, but that shouldn’t be the only goal if they truly want to take advantage of their social media capabilities. There are plenty of opportunities to reach out and impact your audience through Twitter. Now that they’ve mastered the technique of sharing and targeting the people who would want to read their content through hashtags, I’d really like to see them “join the conversation.” I think Entertainment Weekly would be more than pleased with the result.

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