July 17, 2015 Kevin Erb

This just in

Where do you get your news? Like, really get your news? Think about it for a second – is it through traditional outlets (print, TV, radio, etc.)? Or are you part of the increasing social_media_desknumber of Americans who, according to a new Pew Research study, get their news from somewhat surprising sources?

Specifically, the study, which surveyed more than 2,000 adults age 18 and older, showed that almost 2/3 of people (63 percent) claim both Facebook and Twitter as primary sources of news for them. These social networks are becoming more than just places to keep up with friends and family; they’re now places to keep up with the world.

Beyond demonstrating the shifting definition of news and underscoring the ongoing challenges traditional news outlets face in this rapidly evolving landscape, the study offers some important reminders and insights for brands when it comes to their own activity on Facebook and Twitter:

  • You are a news source. That may seem kind of scary at first, but it’s actually a marketer’s dream. Remember: You are already an expert in your industry, and sharing industry news, trends and developments with your audience provides a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and authenticity. Sharing with and helping to explain industry news to your audience makes you a news source yourself.
  • Your content strategy is important. If your content mix right now consists of almost exclusively self-promotional posts, you’re doing it wrong. The easiest way to formulate an effective content strategy is to follow the “rule of thirds,” which says 1/3 of your social content should share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry. Again, this makes you a news source for your audience in the process.
  • Your social activity should provide value. While it may not cost anything to have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, you are asking your audience to invest their time with you, and that’s no small thing. Ensuring that your content mix includes helpful information, clear expertise and insightful analysis in turn ensures that you’re providing a return on that investment.

Breaking news! If your brand is active on Facebook and/or Twitter, you are a news source. And if you follow some basic rules when it comes to your content strategy, you should be very excited about this particular piece of news.