When Alabama Media Group launched It’s a Southern Thing in 2017, the company never could have predicted how rapidly the social media brand would grow. We set out to entertain and engage audiences with an authentic voice from the American South and also find new revenue for the legacy newspaper group.
Less than two years later, It’s a Southern Thing has become the largest social media brand in the company. The mixture of relatable identity content and a conversational approach to Southern culture and humour has built more than three million followers and subscribers across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.
Eight months into the launch of This is Alabama, a brand we launched to showcase the good that was happening in the state of Alabama, we noticed a significant amount of visitors reading and viewing our content from outside the state. The idea of being friendly, positive, and celebratory of the South became a social brand we felt needed to exist.
In response to that, we launched the It’s a Southern Thing Facebook page in August 2017 and quickly added 50,000 followers within the first three days. We knew we had found an audience starved of authentic, highly relatable social content about the South. Our audience is very engaged in the content we produce. We had more than one billion video views in 2018 and generated more than 60 million comments, shares, or reactions.
Our team began to focus their efforts on making sure we were leading commentary on Southern culture and trending topics precious to our audience. We focused on content that sparked conversation and engagement.
The sketch comedy team developed a show called So True Y’all on Facebook Watch that has more than 1.3 million followers. It takes the “so true” moments in life and filters them into a short comedic sketch. One successful example is “Choosing Your Grandma Name,” which has been viewed more than 100 million times.
A team curates and writes social media friendly stories. We have also developed a food, culture, and debate video series. This regular schedule of content has not only resulted in a robust social media brand, but we are now driving traffic to our Web site, as well as selling a variety of merchandise.
The social brand started with a limited style of content, humour, and quick stories. We have recently expanded to try food, inspirational documentaries, and in the near future we plan to offer a host of different styles of storytelling.
This social brand is beginning to develop into a larger media company, and we have our fans to thank for that. Our focus always remains on the fans and we will be able to add new streams of revenue and types of stories. Our fans have dubbed us “the friendliest corner of the Internet.” We are proud of the social media environment we’ve built and all of the opportunity it provides.