TEKGROUP International, an online newsroom software solutions provider, studied how social media has affected the traditional news industry and news distribution. It presented the results in its third annual edition of Social Media News Survey Report. The 2012 research focused on the online reading habits of social news consumers. The survey reported the following:
- Using social media as a news source is not a new practice. More than a third of the respondents disclosed that they have been using social media tools to follow, share, post, or read news and information for more than five years while nearly two-thirds of the respondents shared that that they been using social media news for at least three years.
Social media channels have become outlets for real-time news reporting. One notable example was a Pakistani’s real-time Tweeting about the Navy SEAL raid on Bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan. Two-thirds of the respondents believe that news reported in social media channels is slightly or more timely than traditional news outlets. The inclusion of social content into the news reporting of CNN in its iReporters program indicates a growing recognition on the relevance of social media news.
Facebook and Twitter lead other social networks as sources of news and information. More people are using Facebook and Twitter than CNN and the Wall Street Journal as primary sources of news and information. Several companies have taken advantage of the two social networks’ capability to provide delivery of news content, engage with followers, and disseminate financial information to investors and analysts.
Social media news frequently leads to visits to the newsroom or news center of corporate websites. About two-thirds of survey respondents sometimes or frequently visit a company’s website after reading a new article about the company through social media channels. Businesses can build their own online news distribution network by Tweeting and posting links about their news articles on Facebook.
Related to how social media increases visits to corporate websites are data revealing that companies should not neglect their websites’ news pages, because nearly seven in ten of the survey respondents answered that they sometimes, very often, or all the time use a company’s website or online newsroom to follow or share news.