IMC Brand Review: SHAPE Magazine, Food Network and SELF Magazine

SHAPE Magazine 

Facebook: 2,121,577 likes

SHAPE Magazine on Facebook

Twitter: 331K followers

SHAPE Magazine on Twitter

Instagram: 74,149 followers

SHAPE Magazine on Instagram

Google+: 273,006 followers

SHAPE Magazine on Google+

Pinterest: 265, 329 followers

SHAPE Magazine on Pinterest

YouTube: 3,304 subscribers

SHAPE MAgazine on YouTube

With the exception of YouTube, SHAPE Magazine has consistent imagery across all of the platforms listed above. SHAPE’s July/August 2014 cover girl, Jillian Michaels, is featured on the cover photo of nearly all of the social channels (with the exception of Instagram which has rotating images). The current magazine cover that features Jillian is used as the profile picture/icon for all of these platforms. However, SHAPE Magazine’s YouTube Channel is behind the times to say the least. With a bland template cover photo and a dated image of a mystery woman as the profile picture, Shape Magazine could greatly improve its presence on YouTube by updating it’s look to be more consistent with its other social platforms, and by of course producing content more regularly.

SHAPE Magazine’s messaging is consistent across platforms (again, with the exception of YouTube). Similar content is posted on all of the sites, some of which link back to the website.  Content is up to date, with posts occurring several times a day. In fact, on the day that I evaluated their activity, it appears they post almost hourly during morning to evening hours on their most prominent platforms. With content that would be easy to produce videos from (i.e. how to exercises, etc.), Shape Magazine has not leveraged the power of YouTube, and last posted videos around a year ago.

Shape utilizes hashtags on the appropriate social media platforms; however, they appear to be utilized more on Instagram than on Twitter. They are also used on Google+ in regards to the general subject matter of the post (i.e #yoga). While I believe SHAPE could benefit from increasing the use of hashtags on Twitter, they certainly realize the importance of hashtags, and are making an effort to create their own trend with the #caughtbeinghealthy contest.

While Shape does a great job of driving individuals to their website from the various social platforms (which is the ultimate goal), the social channels could be better integrated with one another. Shape has successfully integrated their content across social media and has done a good job of posting regularly (again, with the exception of YouTube) with consistent imagery and messaging to maintain their brand. Let’s face it though, some platforms are simply better for some types of posts than other, so not all content should always be shared across all platforms. This also gives people a reason to jump around to your other social sharing sites. Shape has an app on their Facebook page that links to their Pinterest account, and a Twitter icon on their Pinterest; however, other than that, the other channels are not linked (even their Google+ and YouTube are not linked) to one another in a way that is easily visible to the user. While I believe Shape has done a good job integrating social media into their website and utilizes it well with consistent imagery and messaging, they could also improve upon their IMC approach by updating all accounts, linking across platforms and giving users a reason to follow them on multiple channels.


Food Network

Facebook: 5,260,670 likes

Food Network on Facebook

Twitter: 2.23M followers

Food Network on Twitter

Instagram: 564,957 followers

Food Network on Instagram

Google+: 4,140,694 followers

Food Network on Google+

Pinterest: 326,328 followers

Food Network on Pinterest

YouTube: 123,180 subscribers

Food Network on YouTube

Food Network has a consistent summer look across all platforms. Food Network is wise to use their easily readable and recognizable logo as the profile picture for all of the above listed platforms. While the cover photos for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are the only identical images, the rest of the cover photo images coordinate with a summer grilling feel.

Content on all platforms is up to date and consistently posted. The day I evaluated the platforms, there were multiple posts per day, and on the most prominent channels approximately every three hours from morning to evening. Food Network does a great job a posting regularly but not too much, and also sticking within their current theme, which appears to be summery recipes, and posting across platforms but also not posting everything, everywhere, all the time.  While the messaging is consistent, it is not necessarily identical.

Food Network utilizes hashtags on Google+, Twitter and Instagram but could benefit from increasing the use of them on Instagram in particular. Much of the material posted links back to their main website, which is the ultimate goal; however, the channels are not entirely integrated with one another. The Google+ and YouTube accounts are linked, as they should be, and videos are uploaded very regularly, as you may expect from a television network. Facebook and Twitter icons are also located on the Food Network YouTube account. The Food Network Pinterest does have an icon for Twitter, but other than that, the other platforms do not promote the other social channels. Again, the traffic is driven back to the Food Network website, which is the most beneficial, and the website promotes all channels. While Food Network does a good job with consistent imagery and content across channels and directing traffic back to their website, they could improve upon their integration across channels.


SELF Magazine

Facebook: 1,071,938 likes

SELF Magazine on Facebook

Twitter: 290K followers

SELF Magazine on Twitter

Instagram: 79,642 followers

SELF Magazine on Instagram

Google+: 305,410 followers

SELF Magazine on Google+

Pinterest: 296,397 followers

SELF Magazine on Pinterest

YouTube: 19,344 subscribers

SELF Magazine on YouTube

SELF Magazine has a consistent look across almost all of the above listed platforms. Similar to SHAPE Magazine, they also use the image of their current cover as the profile picture for the majority of their accounts. SELF Magazine’s cover girl is presently Ellie Goulding, and more casual photos of her are pictured on the cover photos of SELF Magazine’s Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts. While Instagram appears to be the only account that uses another cover image as its profile picture, the current cover is also featured as a rotating image within the Instagram cover photo. While the cover photo for the SELF Magazine YouTube page is not Ellie, it is an image that fits with the general look – bright, fitness related and clean. 

All social channels are updated regularly, daily for most and every 1-3 hours for some more popular platforms. SELF Magazine’s Google+ and YouTube are appropriately linked to one another and they do a great job of uploading videos regularly to their YouTube channel, which can often be a more difficult and time consuming platform to keep current, especially for a publication, that may not focus as much on videos.

All information is consistent and relevant and they do a great job of using hashtags on all appropriate platforms, but could increase the use of them on Twitter. They actually even use a hashtag in the description of their Pinterest account (#Drop10Diet). Some social platforms are linked to one another  – Instagram and Pinterest are featured on Facebook, Twitter and Facebook are featured on Pinterest, and their YouTube cover photo image has icons for Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. While they could of course include links to all platforms on every channel, they have done a great job of incorporating a strong majority of them on most channels.

Overall, SELF Magazine has displayed the strongest IMC approach of the three companies evaluated. While there is always room to improve (i.e. integrating all channels, using more hashtags, etc.), SELF Magazine has done a great job of keeping all channels up to date, using consistent imagery and content, and linking back to their website.