Report Highlights the Importance of Accessing News via Social Media
A recent Reuters Institute Digital Report has found that 43% of people in britain aged 16-24 are more likely to access news via social media sites, such as Facebook, rather than using search engines and other more traditional methods.
The Report, conducted in association with YouGov, looks at how the news industry is being affected by digital media in terms of creation, consumption and distribution and focuses its analysis and results on findings from the UK as well as four other countries – the United States, Germany, France and Denmark.
In contrast to the above findings, the report also found that only 11% of those over the age of 45 access news via social media. Although this figure is lower when compared to the percentage for those under the age of 25, the report does highlight the importance of sharing news content through social networks.
Facebook has been regarded as the most important social site which accounts for 55% of news sharing, followed by Twitter which takes a 23% stake. At present, Google + and LinkedIn aren’t proving quite so popular. However, this is likely to be down to the fact that Google + hasn’t been around as long as Facebook and has yet to firmly cement its place in the social world. LinkedIn is also likely to be low down in the list, as for many it’s regarded as a different kind of social site, one that’s used for connecting and networking on a professional and work related level.
As a large percentage of people are using social sites to access news today, the findings reinforce the point that you should be using social media to promote your own stories, create brand awareness and direct traffic to your site. If you have created content that is newsworthy and you can share this between your customers then do so through sites such as Facebook and Twitter and Google +.
Google have made us all aware that social factors and signals will be even more relevant in the future when determining a site’s ranking within the search engine results pages. By using social media now, you are not only sharing your content to a wider audience and generating greater exposure, you are also helping to improve your rankings. It provides a platform for you to promote news, articles, interviews, videos and any other content that you think will be interesting to your customers and followers. The more engaging it is, the more likely it will be shared.
It’s important to remember that the findings don’t devalue the power of the search engines. Essentially, you need to strike a natural balance between optimising your site for the results pages and sharing content on social sites in order to gain more traffic. Both of these techniques will allow the wider audience to be more aware and receptive to your content which will help your site’s position in the SERPs. Start promoting your news now and begin to build a strong social audience.