(Originally posted July 12, 2010)
An online media consultant makes a powerful case that ews organizations that fail to engage their audience in social networks are shortsighted. First, the relevant behavior:
“Ask someone under 30 what websites they visit first thing in the morning. They’ll list a number of social networking and aggregation sites. Most of them don’t actually visit media sites at all. Rather, they’ve come to know that ‘If the news is important, it will find me.’ And, they’re unlikely to outgrow this behaviour. That’s why according to Compete, Facebook now beats Google as a referral site to large portals such as AOL, Yahoo and MSN.
“Social media is a media site’s new best friend. In fact, a recent Hitwise study revealed that over 75% of Facebook referrals will return to print and broadcast media sites in the same week. Twitter is the fastest growing video referrer and it’s users watch a stream for 63% longer than a Google user.”
Then, the argument:
“Why is social media so powerful?
“Two reasons. Trust: we don’t send our friends crap to read. Relevance: we’re more likely to have common interests with our social network and therefore our links are more likely to be relevant.
“Ah, trust and relevance. Sound familiar?”
By refusing to listen to and engage their audience by ignoring social media, limiting comments and erecting pay walls, she argues, “they are destroying trust and hastening their irrelevance. They are destroying the core, not protecting it.”
Yes, it takes time to pay attention to Facebook and the rest, but don’t let it languish.