Monday, March 19, 2012

Facebook Users Dig News

When it comes to digital news, Facebook users are more likely than Twitter users to use the service as a news resource.

This comes from the latest Pew research poll which indicates, among other things, that despite this fact, Facebook is still playing catch-up when it comes to the digital news game.

Despite questions about privacy and a penchant for re-inventing its interface on a seemingly never-ending basis, Facebook has solidified its place as the world's most often used social media network. It has done this by helping people build networks of friends and family and allowing them to interact with those networks in an assortment of ways. Because these networks are comprised of what users feel are their most trusted sources of information, it stands to reason they would be more inclined to follow news links they see posted there. Even if the news may not be of interest to them, by staying abreast of what their friends and family are interested in they are better able to relate and join the conversation.

Posting news links on Facebook is practically a guarantee that at least someone in your network will click through. In fact, if you are like me you are regularly looking for interesting news links you can share with your network. This works for both individuals and businesses.

In the meantime, even as Facebook experiences continued success and other social media networks such as Twitter, Tumblr and Google+ continue to grow, mainstream news gathering sites, most notably print news industry web sites, struggle to integrate any sort of social media interaction. This doesn't sit well with me, as a former journalist, because even as they have been reporting on the success of these social networks they have continuously ignored the wide ranging benefits of story sharing which social media offers.

Social media sharing of posted articles is a win-win for social media users and for the people who posted the original stories because it drives traffic. If you are online you are there because you want to attract visitors, and if your stories get shared on social media, that is a great way of driving those visitors to your site.

(Bloggers, take note.)

So, if you are managing a social media network be sure to include relevant news links in your stream. And if you are a news creator, be certain you leverage the power of these same social media networks to get your message in front of as many eyeballs as you possibly can. Starting with Facebook.

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