People are no longer simply reading news – they are also responding, sharing, and adding their own commentary. The Internet has empowered people to transcend the ‘news consumer’ label and rise into a new class of ‘news participators’. The instant connectivity and sharing nature of social media platforms has helped fuel this evolution. And this shift in behavior has had downstream effects larger than anyone ever imagined.
Just compare the differences of consuming news on television vs. social media. Television is a one-way, uncontrolled stream of information. Just a box that screams generalized news at you between commercial breaks. No choice, no participation and no voice.
Now think about the experience of participating with news on social media. News and information is followed rather than watched. When following news and information on social media, content is delivered on-topic and with the ability to share and participate in the news as it happens. What more could you ask for when engaging with news & information?
The Rise of the News ‘Participator’Clearly social media provides an enhanced form of news participation rather than consumption. Social networks provide the ability to instantly broadcast information to millions of people – all of whom have the ability to share and comment on the content. News participation has even driven people to care more about their unique news interests. What more has a news organization ever wanted?
Pew describes news participators as ‘standing in the information stream’ while interacting with and sharing news and information. And the stream is wide, as Pew found that 92% of Americans use multiple platforms to get their daily news(1). Furthermore, participatory news behavior is displayed by 97% of all social media users, so the news audience is nearly every social network user(1).
A large audience that is engaged with a constant stream of information provides an enormous opportunity to grow brand reach. Sorting through the noise and delivering the valuable information will allow brands to maintain ongoing engagement with target audience members. The social news curation process will accumulate followers and build community by delivering value as an expert, a filter, a recommender, and a facilitator.
Don’t ignore the opportunity at hand. Deliver relevant news & information to your target audience using the social news curation process and you’ll be rewarded with followers, syndication, and engagement.
(1) Pew Research Center: Internet & American Life Project
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