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What is Flipboard?

Flipboard is an experience. I say that, not only because I work in a field which specializes in enabling companies to deliver a superb customer experience, but also because I, as a marketer, appreciate how much an experience has become the differentiator among vendors, products, and services – in how you engage with customers.

Death Valley Our National Parks.pngFlipboard aggregates and organizes content and topics into “magazines.”  Magazines read beautifully on your iPAD, iPhone, and Android devices, enabling readers to consume content in a graphical, enjoyable way.

Flipboard founders McCue and Doll claim the idea for the application was hatched “during a brainstorming session between them, in which they tried to imagine what the web would look like if it were designed from scratch.”

How Is Flipboard Being Used By Marketers?

One part web content, several parts social content, Flipboard is being leveraged by marketers in myriad ways.  At its simplest, Flipboard can be a way to bookmark content to be more readable – think: three-ring binder with full page web articles placed one after the other – for your audience or customers to read. A marketer could simply aggregate favorite testimonials or web pages into a magazine.

But beyond the web is where it gets interesting.  “Flipboard” your blogs, advocates or 3rd party validations of your solutions, an entire RSS feed from a community, the tweets from a twitter handle, images from an Instagram account, or content from a specific hashtag.  Imagine the possibilities of including all appropriate social web content while excluding certain authors you don’t think fit your audiences’ desires.  Aggregate your magazine – from a specific twitter list, only.  The possibilities for what goes into your magazines are nearly endless.

How Can I Publish and Curate To My Audience?

When creating a Flipboard magazine, you have a choice to create it as private or a public.  You can always change that choice, but certainly making it public will allow followers of certain topics to find your magazine and engage and share it.  You may opt to create a magazine comprised of original content from a blog plus third party content, plus some tweets which use a particular hashtag. 

Once you start getting feedback from your audience, you’ll be able to better curate and create magazine content to layer in.   With an emphasis on beautiful content, you may decide for your magazine to consist solely of an Instagram stream of images!  You get the idea….

Beautiful Flipboard Magazine Tools and Techniques.

The curation of social content and web content is accomplished by establishing a Flipboard account and logging into your social channel accounts in order to view what looks best. Once you’ve set up those social web channels, not only will you see each tweet in a much more readable format, but you can blow out any individual tweet to read its link in full screen view. 

Images that you include in content will look best in Flipboard if those images are at least 400 pixels in width.  Standard image ratios are also advisable. When aggregating blogs from an RSS feed, be sure to use standard criteria as outlined here in Optimizing Your RSS Feed for Flipboard.

Well… Magazine Creators, What Are You Waiting For?

Flipboard is a great way to custom-publish blogs, stories, articles, comments and images into beautiful magazines and experiences.  Try reading publicly available magazines on topics you’re interested in and then create your own magazine.  Here is a favorite example of mine in a Flipboard Magazine titled: Our National Parks.

Some good resources to have at your disposal also include: the Official Flipboard Blog.

What’s your favorite Flipboard Magazine created by marketers? I look forward to experiencing!   

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  1. Jason Lax

    I’ve been quietly working on a magazine for SCN called The SCNetizen.

    Flipboard is a great example of the medium being part of the message, and I like that it expands the reach of content by putting it in front of your audience where they normally may not see it and without having to visit your website.

    Something else that’s really great is that everything has to be flipped into category and magazine by a human (i.e. can’t be automated).  This make for an honest and more personal selection of content that ads so much value–that human touch.

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