How do you get your news? If you are like me, it’s a hybrid of sources and may be different every day. Over the last 24-hour period, for instance, I’ve read five or six blogs, visited the AJC online, skimmed the paper (yes, paper!) version of this month’s Vanity Fair, and even watched the 11 PM local newscast (a rarity for me). But by far, the majority of news that I read were found via my Facebook and Twitter feeds, linked by Friends, Followers and Pages I have chosen to make part of my social network. My guess would be that your experience is similar.
This topic is on my mind today for a number of reasons. First, on Tuesday I presented to members of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce at its Government Affairs Council Meeting, specifically about the value of social media. As is the case at many of these engagements, about 90 percent of the room said they were using social media in their personal lives, but maybe 10 percent for professional reasons, or on behalf of clients. In a room full of iPads and smartphones, they all admitted getting much of their news through their personal networks, but hadn’t completely bought into the fact that the audiences they need to reach would also get their clients’ news and information (or their competitors/opponents) in the same manner.
Second, one of my favorite bloggers and authors, Brian Solis, wrote this week about the actionable results of engagement – from social commerce to the power of “likers” and more. One part that stood out: social sharing – when we share a news story on our Facebooks, or “Like” a link that someone else has shared – is truly driving what people read or watch. Even if there are some business or organizational leaders who haven’t latched on to the value of social media marketing, media outlets sure have. Consider this:
Many publishers are reporting overwhelming results after introducing the social sharing buttons, empowering viewers to share stories across their social graph with one click. Sample reports according to Facebook:
- ABC News is up over 190% as a result of adding social plugins
- Gawker claims an surge of over 200%
- TypePad reports increases over 200%
- Sporting News is up by 500%
The takeaway for me from all of this? If we as individuals are getting more and more of our news from our personal social networks – whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, RSS subscriptions or other – then our target audiences are too. So if you see the value of media relations and visibility for your product, service or issue, then social media cannot be ignored. For all of your audience who are abandoning print media in favor of their Facebook feeds, don’t you want them to “like” your news?