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Three social media distribution takeaways from Digital Media Strategies USA

September 14, 2015 | By Michelle Manafy, Editorial Director – DCN @michellemanafy

panelAs of January 2014, 74% of online adults were using social networking sites. And it has been well-documented that people discover and consume a vast quantity of news and other types of information through social platforms. However, media brands have long had a conflicted relationship with social networks. While they amass huge, content-hungry audiences, monetization has not necessarily followed.

At the Digital Media Strategies USA conference held September 9 and 10 in New York, social distribution was a recurring theme. Speakers from a wide range of media organizations made it clear that, trepidation or no, social platforms are an essential component of a distribution strategy. And the good news for publishers it that it is becoming increasingly apparent that quality content is what fuels social media platforms—which should pave the way to a more favorable revenue proposition for premium content creators.

In the words of some of the events speakers, here are three social distribution takeaways from Digital Media Strategies:

1. Their audiences are huge, and you need to be in front of them.

We don’t see it as a loss of control, we see it as a way to reach even bigger audiences, everywhere… Core to how we think about the businesses: reaching quality scaled audiences on whatever platform.

—Marty Moe, President, Vox Media (@mtmoe1)

Social deals bring tremendous distribution.

—Troy Young, President, Hearst Digital Media (@troyyoung)

Don’t see platforms as cannibalization. You’ll just lose an opportunity to show your content to more people.

—Dorth Raphaely, General Manager, Bleacher Report (@mr_dorth)

We need to get to a place where we are truly meeting them where they are: on new platforms, devices and channels.

—Alex Wellen, Chief Product Officer, CNN (@alexwellen)

2. Tell a great story, and tell it the right way for the platform

We have editors for Snapchat, editors for Facebook… We focus our resources to ensure we are presenting not just the right content, but in the right way for the platform.

—Marty Moe, President, Vox Media (@mtmoe1)

Your phone is a reflection of yourself and you open Facebook to see a reflection of your world. It is all about fitting into that experience.

—Chris Altchek, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Mic (caltchek)

With Snapchat Discover, which we recently started participating in, you are no longer thinking about what people will share. We see it as a creative canvas and just want to create great stuff.

—Pete Cashmore, CEO Founder, Mashable (@petecashmore)

A distinctive visual vocabulary is very important in how we think about being a distributed media company so that the brand travels well.

—Troy Young, President, Hearst Digital Media (@troyyoung)

3. Social media platforms need great content.

Social is such a crowded space so we’re seeing a return to the importance of quality content. The people not creating quality content will be drowned-out.

—Dorth Raphaely, General Manager, Bleacher Report  (@mr_dorth)

All the platforms want quality content that people want to read.

—Pete Cashmore, CEO Founder, Mashable (@petecashmore)

The platforms will need to compete for the best content.

—Marty Moe, President, Vox Media (@mtmoe1)

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