With social media growing at a rapid pace and new platforms emerging on a daily basis, the value it can bring to brands is also continually on the rise. Small businesses are discovering the ways social media can contribute to success and growth in all areas of their companies, such as generating more customers, more traffic, and more conversions.
Along with the ways social media is transforming how businesses communicate directly and honestly with their customers, social media has also revolutionized how people receive and share news and information. Because of this change with how people around the world consume news, journalists -- and the media landscape -- have had to quickly adapt.
We recently interviewed journalists on how they use social media in their day-to-day and highlighted these key takeaways:
Over the past decade, digital tools and mobile platforms have had a significant impact on journalistic practices and these platforms are providing value as a media tool that can help reporters research and discover story ideas.
Michele "Wojo" Wojciechowski said she uses Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to find her ideas. “I've read about so many amazing people and things going on in the world that I've found out about more quickly because I read about them on social media. Often I read about ideas that spur other ideas for me to write about."
Photojournalist Max Whittaker primarily uses Facebook to research and discover his story ideas. "I see a wide array of news and social issues through my Facebook feed. More importantly, I get little glimpses into the daily lives of ordinary people. Important stories need to be told through the prism of ordinary people. Facebook is one way I can see their struggles and the issues that personally affect them, which can inform my coverage and even instigate a story idea. I can also reach out to those same people and tell their story or enlist them in helping me find subjects that more clearly illustrate a topic.”
While story creation might be the most popular reason that journalists use social media, it also allows you to keep a pulse on what is happening in your local community. Jen Picard, senior producer, Insight Capital Radio, primarily covers the Sacramento/Northern California regions and she pays attention to “local artists, newsmakers, reporters and other journalists, just to see what they're doing, talking about, sharing and promoting.”
Picard further commented, “I do hit a lot of links that people share if it crosses my interest levels (professional and personal) and that's probably tied with trying to get sources or find people to talk with about specific topics. We're always looking for the expert and the everyman. The expert is easy - they're banging down our doors. But the everyman is far more elusive. Social media can help us find/reach out to those people.”
If you are journalist that covers a regular beat, chances are you’ll find yourself talking to the same people on a fairly regular basis. Actively participating in conversations on various platforms can help to forge relationships with sources that wouldn’t have otherwise come to be.
Wojciechowski stated, “Sometimes I use social media to find sources -- but usually only if my standbys like ProfNet haven't turned up the specific type of source I need. This especially helps when I need a source at the last minute. There's always someone on social media.”
Aly Walansky believes she is using social media extensively in her role as a journalist: “Sources for stories almost always share the stories, and their audiences will often comment and lead to new story ideas (or just new followers for both of us!).”
Continue reading this blog post on PR Toolkit: Top Three Ways Journalists Use Social Media.