Study Says Facebook, Twitter Not the News Breakers We May Think

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In social media marketing, we live by the legend that everybody gets all of their information from Facebook and Twitter. After all, we see big news stories spread like wildfire on social media every week, if not daily. From celebrity scandals and branding snafus to sports scores and natural disasters, the common belief is that social media isn’t just talking about the top stories of the day, but actually breaking news stories, too. Yet a new study is out to burst that bubble by claiming only 9 percent of Americans turn to Facebook and Twitter to get their news.

Shockingly, The State of the News Media 2012, a report from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, finds that Americans are decidedly old school when it comes to getting their news. More than a third claim they still hear the headlines from news organizations like CNN, MSNBC and local radio/TV news outlets. Tech sources for news weren’t totally out of the picture, however; 32 percent say they rely on search engines and 29 percent use news aggregation sites and apps like Flipboard, according to Pew.

The numbers in the survey shift dramatically, however, when the study focuses on subjects who rely on digital for their only news resource. A full 52 percent of digital news consumers admit to getting at least some of their daily news from Facebook and Twitter. Pew subjects were also very opinionated about which they liked better for news — Facebook or Twitter. Seven percent of digital news consumers say they get news from Facebook very often while only 3 percent said the same for Twitter. But Twitter dominated in being first for original stories; 39 percent said they read stories on Twitter they wouldn’t have found elsewhere.

But does the dip in social media news mean anything to marketers? You tell us, readers! Has the social media news era already ended, taking our interest in engaging with brands on Facebook and Twitter with it? Sound off below!

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