Have you been using Twitter or Facebook more frequently the past few months?
If so, you are one of the 14 million plus people in the U.S. that logged in to Twitter.com (this figure doesn’t even include TweetDeck or Twhirl traffic) and 91 million plus people that signed on to Facebook in the last year. Mashable recently reported these figures, noting that the uplift in traffic could be attributed to the increasing number of mainstream media and entertainment outlets now using the social networks.
The Boston FOX affiliate is one local example of a news station that has been successfully using the platforms to connect with their audience. Every morning, the anchors ask viewers to post questions and comments to their Twitter account, then address some of the tweets on air — it’s pretty cool to engage in that instantaneous communication with the people that just a few years ago might have been referred to as “talking heads.”
With Twitter and Facebook growing more than 75% and 23% respectively last month alone, the media outlets that embrace these platforms and harness the power of digital media will surely prove to hold their ground in this tough economy. Every week, another traditional media outlet seems to fall prey to bankruptcy or threat of closure, yet what amazes me is that that the “surviving” outlets aren’t jumping out of their chairs to enroll in Digital & Social Media 101 to learn how to adapt to this trend!
Here is a tip for the Boston Globe: “Meet your audience where they want to be met.” If I can’t name one person on my hand that subscribes to the print edition of the newspaper, yet can name at least 50 people that visit Boston.com regularly, chances are you need to update your business model and embrace the digital wave (perhaps promote your Twitter account in a place where it doesn’t take me 2 minutes to find it on the homepage!)