Thursday, October 3, 2013
Flipboard As A Branding Tool
While you may be familiar with the big players in the social media arena (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest), there are many smaller or periphery social sites that can be useful when building your brand. If you aren’t familiar with Flipboard, it’s definitely worth your time to check it out and learn more about it.
Wikipedia describes Flipboard as “a social network aggregation, magazine-format application software that collects the content of social media and other websites and presents it in magazine format…According to co-founders Mike McCue and Evan Doll, they devised the idea during a brainstorming session when they tried to imagine what the web would look like if it were designed from scratch. The design they came up with placed emphasis on the social web and the ability to consume content in a graphical magazine-like format.” (1) The application was originally designed for the iPad and was recognized as Apple's iPad App of the Year in 2010. (2)
In 2012, Flipboard was released for Android phones, and a Windows 8 version was unveiled in 2013. Therefore, in what seems like a reverse technology move but also a way to increase the user base, the app that was initially designed for Apple’s tablet experience is NOW also available for smartphones – with viewing available on desktops too.
It’s quick and easy to create a Flipboard account:
 Open the app on a smartphone or tablet.
 Click create an account.
 Choose a username – it should be your company name or brand name, but be consistent with your other social sites because you will not be able to change the name later (unfortunately, Flipboard does not allow you to change your username, unlike Facebook and Pinterest).
 Add an email and contact name for account verification.
 Browse through some of Flipboard’s topics and follow some
 Create your own magazines – examples include your industry, your employee experts, your industry experts, your product/service news, etc.
 Start flipping content into your magazines – this is Flipboard’s terminology to add content.
Here are some of the reasons why Flipboard is a useful branding tool:
 Clean interface: screens are not cluttered with too much text and graphics.
 Page turning process: users can easily turn the “pages” to read more articles.
 Free cost: there is no charge for the app, so users can access the app from smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
 Integration with other social sites: other apps are accessible via Flipboard (for example, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, YouTube, etc.).
 Comments and sharing: users can easily add their comments to the "flipped" articles and can also email the articles to others.
According to the Flipboard website, “Millions of people use Flipboard to read and collect the news they care about, curating their favorite stories into their own magazines on any topic imaginable. Now magazines created by our readers can be shared and enjoyed on the web by anyone, anywhere…Our mission is to let people discover and share content in beautiful, simple, and meaningful ways.”
While many businesses are starting to realize that they need to pay for advertising on Facebook and Twitter to justify their time investment, Flipboard is a virtual billboard – at no charge. If you keep your content fresh and interesting – not full of sales pitches, you can easily grow your Flipboard following.
So, with all this reading, sharing, and commenting, why wouldn’t your business take advantage of Flipboard’s branding advantages?
Image Credit: Courtesy of Flipboard – Branding & Brand Equity Magazine by Debbie Laskey, MBA.
Sources for this post:
(1) Wikipedia: Flipboard
(2) Business Insider: Apple Calls Flipboard “iPad App of the Year”
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.
Posted by Debbie Laskey, MBA