House Beautiful Steps Up Social Engagement Efforts
QR codes are not the only social action technology publishers are implementing—Hearst’s House Beautiful will be one of the first magazine to be enabled with Pinterest social action technology in print and digitally. The magazine’s June issue was peppered with Pinterest icons that allow users to share images from the publication across the social platform and the Internet.“Our ‘Kitchen of the Month,’ feature will be enabled,” says Newell Turner, the title’s editor-in-chief. “We’re just launching with this to get it off the ground, but I know that within the next month or two most of the magazine will have to be pin-able.”Since House Beautiful images and content will be able to be pinned and shared across Pinterest, the editor and publication are hoping to gain expanded exposure to new audiences. Once someone pins an image, it is shared with their followers and others across the Internet, and can be referenced back to the original source.Turner says that the “Kitchen of the Month” content was chosen to be Pinterest enabled to maintain consistency—instead of having multiple design aspects, the integration of an entire feature story provides the consumer a more streamlined experience. Going forward, different stories of the magazine, in addition to the “Kitchen of the Month,” will be enabled to be shared across Pinterest.“It’s going to take a little bit of back end labor to have the entire magazine Pinterest enabled,” says Turner. “Most of the magazine is eventually moved to the website over the course of a month, gradually and in stages. To make the entire magazine pin-able from the day it’s released, the entire magazine has to be moved to the website in one fell swoop.” The digital edition, in addition to the print magazine, will be enabled with the Digimarc digital watermark Pinterest icon. Digimarc’s digital watermarking technology allows its users to embed digital information into audio, images, video and printed materials. The publication has developed a separate table of contents (TOC) that shows readers where each social digital icon is. The icons can be scanned with the HBConnect app, which is a Digimarc scanner, or the Digimarc Discover app. House Beautiful is using the HB Connect graphic in addition the Pinterest icon to denote the image is digitally watermarked and links to Pinterest. In the digital TOC section there are instructions on how to access the application in order to scan to connect to Pinterest for consumers who may not be aware. “We know this drives people to our website, at a heavy level” says Turner. “A few weeks ago the Pinterest program was almost passing, if not passing the referral volume when compared to traffic we receive from our content syndication partnerships with Yahoo! and MSN.”Turner could not provide figures on the traffic volume. When asked about best practices with Pinterest integration, he says that the title has seen the highest engagement when an icon is placed on the cover of the magazine because it alerts users at the onset that interactivity exists.