While last week marked the end of the national version of Frank Magazine, Atlantic Canada Frank is not only hanging in, the maritime version of the iconic satirical rag seems to be flourishing.
Maybe East Coasters have a better sense of humour than the rest of us? I asked AC Frank‘s editor, John Williams, why he thought their readership has remained strong. His answers provide valuable lessons to anyone using social media strategies.
Frank effectively used Facebook to drive readers to their website. “I became involved with a group of constant Facebookers early on,” says Williams, “And discovered it could be used to market Frank in a whole new way, while we tried to get our website up and running.”
Astounding as it is, Frank had never had a website until this year. Since Frank carries no advertisements, it was impossible to simply create a digital version of the magazine. Frank turned that obstacle into an opportunity, and used the site as a promotional tool instead.
“The web page allows people to check in and see what’s on the cover, see the headline teasers and leave tips,” says Williams, who notes that the majority of their readers still prefer to get Frank in print.
Still, Frank sees the power in expanding their coverage to other digital mediums. Their recently launched YouTube channel-dubbed “FrankTube” on their webpage-will feature news videos that have generated controversy across Canada. The first offering is CTV Atlantic‘s pre-election Stephane Dion interview: “We thought it was important for readers to see the pertinent clips mentioned in the articles, and this seemed to be the easiest way to make it all available,” Williams told me.
But how does Frank stay ahead of the multitude of pretenders to its crown? Williams agrees that the anonymity of blogs allows writers to spew potentially litigious material in a way Frank can’t, they’re able to rely on a more traditional tactic to gain information. “We have the opportunity to make direct contact with the people at the heart of the stories, where a blogger might not have that same ability.”
Rather than shy away from digital media, Atlantic Canada Frank Magazine has embraced the new medium.
Its editorial team has capitalized on the promotional power of the web, while at the same time, sticking to what the team does best.
Playing to their strengths, using social media effectively and creatively-it’s all things we use when creating social media strategies. As Atlantic Canada Frank shows, it can mean success where other products like it have failed.[ad]