We ran into Flipboard when we started seeing it as a traffic source in Google Analytics. You might have read about it in the Wall Street Journal or found it in Google Play. Josepha uses it to save things she wants to read later on her Kindle.
Flipboard is a social aggregator that lets you mark things for later reading or to read feeds from social media, but you can also create attractive flipbook-style magazines and share them. The example here is from fellow Google Earth Pangaean alum Richard Allaway, who created a magazine for his geography lessons on food and health. If you go to the magazine, you can click to flip the pages and each page is an opportunity to click through to a video or article to learn more.
You can browse through shared magazines at the website or download the app.
All this may be fun, but what does it have to do with social media marketing? It’s definitely an opportunity.
Imagine if all the great stuff you shared on Facebook remained in the form of a magazine which your followers could return to and enjoy. Imagine being able to curate it and keep it up to date so that they would choose to come back. Imagine including great content from your website in your magazine,
Once you find a magazine you like, you can subscribe to it. If your customers subscribe to your magazine, they can read it at their desktop or on mobile devices. Unlike your Twitter feed, it doesn’t disappear within hours to be seen no more. If it bothers you that you put so much work into something as ephemeral as the stream at LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or G+, you’ll find Flipboard more satisfying.
It’s very easy to use, too. Check out this video, or read the tutorial.
With any relatively new player in social media, though, there’s always the question: are your customers there? With 100 million plus users, Flipboard is not unknown. However, users have only been able to create and share magazines for just under a year — before May, 2013, content creators like the BBC and National Geographic were the only publishers.
This means that your magazine on keeping your knees healthy or on environmentally responsible classrooms or what have you could easily be the only one. This is typically not true of your Pinterest boards.
We don’t see Flipboard in our search results. Ever. It’s possible that only regular users see Flipboard magazines in their search results, and there seem to be relatively few of those. However, it also looks like an easy way to curate a useful resource, which you can then send people to read.
Have you had any experience with Flipboard? Share in the comments!