Following Us Into Our Next 1OO Years
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.