I found this video of Tim O'Reilly's presentation at the Tools of Change for Publishing Conference in 2010. His comments from 15:00 to 17:41 I found to be the most interesting.

Keeping in mind that CURA is a literary magazine and not a publisher, I thought that this does apply to us as well. We want our readers to connect with our authors. We, too, want to be a part of an online literary community. I looked to the social media accounts of top literary magazines and found that they are doing a lot of what O'Reilly calls "broadcasting". Top Twitter accounts of literary magazines are The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta Magazine, Electrice Literature, and Guernica Magazine. They are Tweeting mostly links to their site. Rarely, do they participate in the community online. Perhpas they fuel the community, and that is how they participate in it.

Their Facebook accounts are similar, but a lot less popular. Granta supports their authors events for example. Interestingly The New Yorker is a lot more popular on Twitter. The Paris Review puts up quotes with images. Electric Literature puts up interviews that are on their site and events. Guernica mainly puts up content from their site.

So perhaps what these magazines have that make them so popular is their brand. They establed themselves before social media became a popular marketing tool. People already know they are captains of the literary community. I think there is a place for us to carve out for ourselves on social media. Perhaps we can work it in with our "Action" page that we want to be more inclusive than the magazine itself. I propose that we stop focusing on pushing the magazine and our content and instead work to promote our authors and our readers. Admitidly, not all of our featured writers and artists are on Twitter and Facebook, but maybe we can change that.

For a comparable magazine I looked at Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction. They were established in 2004 and have over 2,000 followers on Twitter and more than 900 on Facebook. That number is tiny compared to the magazines listed above, but I would still say sucessful. They are better than the larger mags at participating in the literary communuty. They offer a good goal for us. I think we can surpass their number because we have a more beautiful sight and more to offer in general. 

For more of Tim O'Reilly's ideas on Social Media marketing read Why I Love Twitter.

-Kim Naples