We have written a lot about social media recently both in our printed pages as well as in our blogs. As I understand it, social media continues to change and is even in a state of perpetual change. One thing that has become obvious to me is that there is now a blending of the new and the old. 

By old, I am referring to more traditional media like this printed magazine, but I am also referring to what can now be considered traditional websites and eNewsletters. The new — which is really only newer — is all aspects of social media including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.

When radio was invented, newspapers didn’t go away. The usage of both media blended together to deliver news to audiences. The same happened when TV was invented. Now, there is no single digital online invention but a series of developments and enhancements like websites and other digital communication forms. Likewise, they will not replace their predecessors, but will blend together to continue to enhance and improve the ways that content is delivered.

Now we move on to social media as a means for communicating content. I contend that social media is very useful in the industrial world if it is used to exchange useful, interesting content. To take that a step further, it is most useful when it links to content that is of specific interest to the audiences reached. We at H&P are involved in social media in that we use our blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and more to reach and engage our audience. We have a great deal of content to link to because every month, we produce this useful, interesting magazine and website. That makes it easy to blend social media into what we have been doing here for nearly 70 years.

Industrial manufacturers, including our advertisers and prospective advertisers, all have the capability of communicating useful content through social media. Just as they have traditionally used press releases to get information published in print and online, they have the potential to disseminate content through social media. This activity does not replace print and online publicity but, in fact, it should work with it.

When a company gets a press release published in a trade magazine like this one, they should be extending the reach of that useful, interesting content through social media. This is even more important with application stories and feature articles. This content becomes useful and interesting to our audience and this provides content for social media. When a company promotes their content found in our magazine through social media, we benefit from the additional exposure and our advertisers benefit as well.

The media are blending together. The good news is that participation is open with the new media, so I invite you to get started if you have not already. Companies should have social media strategies that encourage their employees to be involved with promoting their company. That policy also needs to include some safeguards about what is being said. The content being used in an official capacity on social media needs to comply with the official message and intent of the company.

And I encourage our readers to start using social media tools as well. Sign up for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Once you start following companies and content providers like H&P, you’ll discover it is even easier to find the technical information you’re looking for, whether it’s to learn something to help you do your job better or just learn something new and fun.

Once again, the new works together with the existing media. The new is just not so easy to define as radio and television were. However, it might be equally if not more influential.

Michael Ference, publisher
michael.ference@penton.com