3 Ways Social Media Is Changing How Millennials Consume News
Eighty-five percent of millennials say that staying up-to-date with the latest news is at least somewhat important, according to research conducted by the Media Insight Project. That number is staggering considering that many people blame millennials for the death of the modern newspaper.
When you take a closer look at how millennials consume news, though, it makes sense. The millennial generation doesn’t rely on newspapers like baby boomers and some Gen Xers do. Instead, the generation uses social media to get their news. This hasn’t just changed the way they come across news stories. It has actually changed the way they consume it in at least three ways.
1. It’s integrated into their lives
Older generations tend to set aside time to consume news. They start the day off by reading the local paper and sit in front of the TV every night to watch the evening news. That’s not true for millennials, though. Instead of setting some time aside, they have made it a part of their daily lives, due in large part to social media. In fact, 60% of millennialssay they come across news when they are engaging in other activities, often on social media.
They don’t occur on random social media networks, either. Most millennials get their news from Facebook. Unlike fast-paced Twitter feeds and photo-centric Instagram pages, Facebook is about relationships. Millennials visit the site over and over again throughout the day to find out what their friends and family are doing. When they do this, they come across tons of news stories, and they often click to learn more. That’s why 61% of millennialsget their political news on Facebook.
You don’t have to be a politician to grab millennials’ interest on Facebook. If you have something newsworthy, put it on this channel and increase your potential to reach this demography.
2. They’re exposed to opposing viewpoints
On average, Americans spend 36% more time reading news stories that match up to their views than they spend reading stories that have opposing views. The reason is simple. People don’t want their views challenged. They want to read information that supports what they already believe.
You can tell what their views are by looking at the newspapers and magazines they read. Even unbiased news sources tend to lean one way or the other. Since millennials use social media to get their news, they are exposed to varying viewpoints that you won’t find in many national publications.
Out of the 83% of millennials that are exposed to diverse opinions on social media, 73% click to learn more. This open-mindedness is good news for anyone who needs to market on Facebook. While some baby boomers and Gen Xers are set in their ways, you can reach out to millennials and they will pay attention to what you have to say. Once you have their attention, it’s up to you to get them to take the desired action. Since they are so open-minded, you should be able to bring some of them over to your side.
3. They consume news from people they know
Do you remember when Dan Rather was like a trusted friend? You invited him into your home every night and he told you what was going on in the world. Maybe you’re a little younger and you prefer Anderson Cooper. Either way, you have likely logged numerous hours getting the scoop from a famous newscaster. You trust these people to deliver the news to you, whether something is happening at home or abroad.
Millennials aren’t looking for their own Dan Rather or Anderson Cooper.
When compared to baby boomers, millennials are twice as likely to prefer getting their information from people that they know. They don’t want to hear what Anderson Cooper thinks. They want to hear what their buddies think. That doesn’t mean the news can come from anywhere, though. They still prefer trusted new sources, but they like it when their friends act as intermediaries, sending them the hottest stories of the day.
If you’re a business owner, you can use this to your advantage as well. First, you need to develop a strong social media presence. Then, you must build trust with your audience by interacting with them and delivering quality content and information. If you can do that, people will share your content. When millennials see your content pop up in their newsfeeds, they will want to learn more. Traditional news is far from dead. It’s being reborn in a new form, thanks to millennials. If you can learn to speak to millennials on their level, there is no limit to what you can do with your business.
Courtesy of Forbes.com