Social Media Channels

It’s obvious that social media has become a pervasive way to gather news and information on trending topics, current events and interesting subject matter, but has it become the top source people turn to, or is it merely a supplement for more traditional news sources? Recently, TEKGROUP issued their 2011 Social Media News Survey report, which helps answer that very question. The report shows the importance of online newsrooms to corporate communicators and the need for a comprehensive social media news strategy when targeting audiences in the social media space. The survey measured people’s acceptance, use, and attitudes of social media tools to follow, share, and post news. 

What’s also interesting to note is that the survey exclusively used social media tools to gather the 573 survey responses.

Some of the most interesting findings include the fact that, of those surveyed:

  • 84% frequently or exclusively use social media tools to follow or monitor news and information
  • 90% use Twitter and 85% use Facebook as a primary source of news and information
  • 76% feel news gathered through social media channels is more timely than traditional news outlets
  • 49.6% consider news from social media sources is just as accurate as traditional news sources

Taking these findings a step further and looking at some of the stats that more directly impact corporate strategies, the survey found that, of those surveyed:

  • 75% sometimes or frequently visit a corporate website after learning of a news story through social media channels
  • 50% look for information on search engines, but social media tools (22.2%) edged out traditional news sites (21.8%) as the second most popular way to gather news

Looking at these stats and the rising importance of social media as a way to gather news and information, it’s evident that having a presence on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook is essential as more and more people abandon traditional ways of consuming news. The ease of including links via these tools also furthers the promotion of additional information while enhancing SEO practices.

All in all, it seems if your company is not using social media tools to disseminate information, you may be missing the boat and your PR services may be incomplete. With a proper social media strategy in place, however, creating viable social channels for sharing news and information is not only possible, but also highly beneficial in order to keep your company cutting-edge and timely in today’s world of instantaneous information sharing. Whether you are hiring public relations companies to do this for you or your in-house PR team does it, this is the time to seriously consider it.

This post was first published by Meredith L. Eaton on March Communications’ blog, PR Nonsense.