I’m always interested in other perspectives and here is a view of the world from a digital marketer I think you might find thought provoking. He is Richard Owen and he works at an exciting new business called MINT Online marketing.

MiNT

Is traditional media fighting a losing battle against social networking for breaking news stories?Highlighting the significance of Social Networking sites for Television, the Media and Business.

You only have to switch on your television to see how much of an impact social networking has on the media. From the X-factor to Question Time television programmes practically beg their audience to ‘hashtag’ their shows, engagement through social media is becoming increasingly important for television, engagement through social media can in turn generate discussion, the more a program is discussed the more attention it will attract.

Social media has a permanent advantage over traditional news platforms in terms of breaking stories, often a news story will break on Twitter hours before it’s even mentioned on the television and twenty four hours before journalists have the chance to form an opinion.

Take the recent HMV Twitter scandal for instance, disgruntled staff tweeted live from the official HMV Twitter account as 60 staff were fired from the (former) electronics retailer, described as a “mass execution of loyal employees who love the brand”.This was a prime example of a breaking news story released exclusively through social media.

It’s well-documented that the growth of the internet has lead to a decline in the importance of the newspaper, as a society we can now actively discuss and engage with others on any given topic as news is breaking, instead of viewing the news from a passive perspective.

Social Media increases how much we’re involved in the news, discussion, debate and feedback on your opinion is part of the attraction of social networking as a concept. A growing trend has been developing as far as television news is concerned, with an increased focus on public opinion and news stories perceived from the perspective of the (sometimes mis-informed) average man or woman.

But can Television news and the newspaper really compete with the level of involvement that’s possible through Social Media?

Richard Owen
Richard Owen

We no longer rely on television and the newspapers for instantaneous news, does this mean that these means have becoming too archaic for the digital generation?

Why buy a newspaper for yesterdays news stories when you can log on to a social media platform from your phone and see the days events in seconds being discussed by from familiar people with whom you share common interests.

From a journalistic perspective there is a reduced sense of importance on the breaking of a story because often the public is already aware of a story before they read about it. Particularly as far as the tabloids are concerned, newspaper editors have figured out that in order to sell copies, their opinion has to become more and more controversial. We now look to newspapers and the television for their slant on a story rather than details we’re already aware of.

This allows journalists and news related programming to concentrate on offering an insight in to a story rather than waste time explaining the details of a story that the reader will already be aware of.

What does this mean for businesses?

 Essentially businesses can capitalize on social media for marketing and content purposes.

For instance the web gives a business instant access to millions of articles and reactions on any topic which can be incredibly useful for blogging purposes, even when you’re covering a topic as specific as search engine optimization or pay-per click advertising.

Businesses can use social media to get on top of any story and gain instant access to an audience relative to the topic.

An electronics retailer for example would benefit from taking part in discussion about the PlayStation 4 as it was being dissected and discussed by millions of people over Twitter.

Businesses have realised that in order to drive traffic to their website through Social Media they have to become part of the discussion, this is why any business from a tech industry powerhouse to a developing electronics retailer can benefit from an effective Social Media marketing campaign.

Traditional media simply can’t compete with the speed of social networking, are they now destined to play an endless catch-up game? Forever hanging on the coat-tails of the increasingly powerful social networking sites.

Evidently businesses still spend (and will continue to spend) vast amounts to advertise via television and newspapers, but businesses are increasing the amount of time and resources they devote to online marketing campaigns and social media. As far as breaking news, instant reaction and global reach is concerned social media has a distinct advantage, with society becoming more ‘social’ by the minute this is certainly something for businesses to bear in mind.

Declaration: There is no commercial arrangement between me, this blog and Mint Online Marketing. This guest post is in no way a recommendation for Mint or their services

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