The growing digital footprint of Huisgenoot, YOU and Drum

by Herman Manson (@marklives) In the world of print publishing the three sister magazines of Huisgenoot, YOU and Drum make for a formidable powerhouse – they are the three biggest circulating consumer magazines in the country.

Until recently that offline brand and circulation power hasn’t been effectively utilised online, but it’s changing, and quickly, according to Wilmer Müller, Head of Digital at Huisgenoot, YOU and Drum.

The three brands started rolling out digital strategies at the beginning of 2010 and soon found success on Facebook, especially in the case of Huisgenoot, whose community of Afrikaans speaking readers were looking for a safe online space in which to engage with one another in their home language. . Growth has been organic says Müller and on Facebook the number of Huisgenoot fans currently stands at over 205 000.

The Facebook presence of Drum is growing at the same breakneck pace as that of Huisgenoot in 2010, but Twitter has really been its success story, as the channel is well suited for breaking news on black celebrity culture – a key point of interest to Drum readers.

Talking of Twitter, Huisgenoot hasn’t seen as much success here as on Facebook. Müller suggests that this is due to slower take-up amongst Afrikaans speakers – English seems to be the default language South Africans use on Twitter. The Oscar Pistorius story, first broken on Twitter by Beeld, has changed this, and Huisgenoot has seen a substantial take-up of its various social media platforms, including Twitter, over the past two months. This was mostly tied to the Pistorius story, says Müller.

YOU has been tougher to grow digitally since it competes with a wider range of English language sites, many of them international, but its numbers are far from insubstantial.

ABC Analysis Q2 2012: The biggest-circulating consumer magazines in SA

The ABC has released circulation statistics for the period April 2012 to June 2012. Here are a couple of numbers that popped out for us. We also updated our list of the biggest circulating consumer magazines in SA!

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