Fol­low­ing Us Into Our Next 1OO Years

Forbes - - CONTENTS - by LEWIS D’VORKIN

As we near our 100th birth­day, there’s one data point that I be­lieve says more about the fu­ture of Forbes than all the oth­ers we col­lect and scru­ti­nize. Sure, I love to point to the growth of our prod­ucts. Each month, some 50 mil­lion peo­ple visit Forbes.com, up from about 15 mil­lion seven years ago, when we took bold steps to change our con­tent and ad mod­els. Our mag­a­zine’s read­er­ship is up strongly, too, even as our com­peti­tors suf­fer de­clines and mo­bile de­vices eclipse desk­tops and print. But here’s the num­ber I find most in­trigu­ing. We now have 35 mil­lion fol­low­ers across so­cial me­dia. That’s up from a mere 100,000 to­tal fol­low­ers in Au­gust 2010.

Think about that. Con­sumers find us through search. They get links from friends. And web­sites point to us. Far more telling, 35 mil­lion peo­ple made a con­scious de­ci­sion to at­tach them­selves to our brand. B.C. Forbes, our founder, set out to cover the “do­ers and do­ings” of cap­i­tal­ism. A cen­tury later, the gen­er­a­tions of so­cial me­dia—the most en­tre­pre­neur­ial-minded of all—de­pend on our sto­ried brand to track, fil­ter and pass judg­ment on the new­est do­ers and do­ings.

We’re not tak­ing this as­ton­ish­ing 350-fold rise in our so­cial fol­low­ing for granted. We want to do more for them. So we’re start­ing to pub­lish con­tent, not sim­ply dis­trib­ute links to our site, on the so­cial net­works where they of­ten start their day. We now have a team of eight so­cial me­dia ed­i­tors, up from only one seven sum­mers ago. They’re fast be­com­ing so­cial me­dia con­tent cre­ators de­vel­op­ing unique off-do­main ex­pe­ri­ences—that’s jar­gon for con­tent that lives out­side our tra­di­tional prod­ucts.

These com­plete jour­nal­is­tic en­deav­ors kicked off in Jan­uary with an ex­clu­sive re­veal of our 30 Un­der 30 List on Snapchat. Now we’re run­ning a kind of Forbes We­bi­nar on Linkedin, dur­ing which ex­perts share ac­tion­able ca­reer and in­vest­ment ad­vice. On Twit­ter, Forbes Flash is a weekly show that high­lights trend­ing busi­ness news. On In­sta­gram, Cur­tain Call goes be­hind the busi­ness of arts and en­ter­tain­ment pro­duc­tions. Up next: Sh­e­suite and Seat of Power.

In honor of our cen­ten­nial, our Snapchat au­di­ence can dig­i­tally place them­selves on the cover of Forbes mag­a­zine, the most cov­eted me­dia spot for to­day’s entrepreneurs. In 15 lo­ca­tions around the world we’re de­ploy­ing Snapchat ge­ofil­ters that re­sem­ble our cover. Us­ing weekly hints, our fans can dis­cover the fil­ters, at­tach a selfie and share it with friends. If, like Bruno Mars, you “wanna be on the cover of Forbes mag­a­zine, smil­ing next to Oprah and the Queen,” our 100th is the mo­ment.

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