What I Learned About Social Media News

Here’s the latest from me, Edward M. Bury, APR, aka the PRDude

Yesterday, I had the great fortune to attend a webinar, “Develop a Social Media News Strategy for Your Company: Follow. Share. Post.”  It was offered by the Public Relations Society of America, and it’s archived for PRSA Members who were unable to attend.

Webinar leader Steve Momorella, partner and co-founder of TEK Group International, offered some excellent insight into the difference between social media news and the traditional news all of us grew up with.

Okay.  A lot of us initially got our news from print and broadcast media.

Here are a few highlights that resounded with me:

  1. Social media news represents a true paradigm shift because information is exchanged and shared; it’s two-way conversation rather than one-way message.
  2. That means the lines have been blurred between who’s the producer, and who’s the consumer.
  3. Every company and organization has great stories to tell. Social media news gives you the ability to tell that story and the resources to drive the dialog.
  4. Perhaps the most successful social media news sites is the Huffington Post.  Of course it provides a very, very robust amount of content.  But it also offers Facebook and Twitter links right from its toolbar, and it offers lots of apps for hand-held devices, making it very easy to share news.
  5. An estimated 57% of Americans use social media sites, and an estimate 97% are consumers of news online.
  6. Ford and Starbucks follow lots of people on Twitter because they want their feedback and an opportunity to respond.  One of the premiere news organizations in the world, the New York Times, has 2.4 million Twitter followers but only follows 199.

These are all interesting statistics and observations. But the one that whacked me across the head was this:

  • 90% of online consumers are so-called “lurkers” who read and move on.
  • 9% add some content to social media sites.
  • 1% add most online content to social media sites.

As a public relations professional and communicator, I’ve fully embraced online communication and relish the opportunity to share my thoughts with whomever wants to read of share them with someone else.  I visit and add to my  profiles just about every day.

I trust that puts me in the 1 percentile.

A final thought: Back in the day, when all of us got our news from the “traditional” news sources, there was a practice designed to learn the “average” person’s perspectives on what was taking place in our world. It was called the man-on-the-street interview.

It’s still used today in some instances.   I hope it doesn’t go away.  It gives those 90% of the online population a way to share their thoughts.

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3 thoughts on “What I Learned About Social Media News

  1. Thanks so much for attending our webinar, PRDude! Seriouly though, Ed, I couldn’t have written up a better synopsis of the takeaway points we were trying to make. It truly is a paradigm shift not only in consumption of news but also in delivery and publishing. We really appreciate the feedback and positive remarks, and I will be sure to Tweet this blog post out and continue to follow your posts.

    Thanks again!

    Steve Momorella

    • Hello Steve: Thanks for your kind words. I will add another bullet point: How Ford and Starbucks follows people on Twitter, but NYT does not. Interesting strategies there. Best of success to you.

  2. Edward,

    I thank you so very much for sharing your take-away items from this seminar. Sounds like a great event. In my various industry technology movements, one is to get PM and FM professionals and the vendors that serve us to all get domain names or social media names now. Yes, many do not have domain names or any names yet. I have written an article to encourage this and I have tied it to a http://trendycharts.com poll. I am really trying to think of ways to build trendycharts.com into a watering hole of what is going on in our industry by our actual responses and the result of the trends. I think it is a terrific time to monitor these trends and the first time in history our industry is really beginning to use the internet.

    Thanks for your encouragement through this post. I think we are on the right track!
    Linda@ManagerLabs.com (President of the Edward M. Bury Fan Club!)

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