facebook, news, advertising

Facebook -People Use Social Media for News

In the past people always relied on news broadcasters, radio stations and the newspaper to stay informed about current events. Today, there are approximately 1.23 BILLION users on Facebook! So while people are browsing, they are tuning into news updates almost instantly as they happen. Facebook has features like Top Trending news – hence, it’s no surprise that companies like CNN and BBC are recognizing the massive benefits of using this platform. In the past people searched for news and tuned into their favourite newscaster or broadcaster. Now the tables have turned. People want the news to come to them.

Facebook constantly looks for new ways to engage its users and increase the frequency and duration of time people spend on the platform. To do this they have created instant news articles with credible high quality content to engage people as they are browsing the site. Over the past couple of years this feature has been introduced and statistics show that the average person would rather turn to social media for the latest news rather than watching it on TV or reading the paper.

In fact 63% of Americans reported getting news on Facebook and Twitter in 2015 versus approximately 50% in 2013. Some statistics show that people spend an average of at least 20 minutes on social media whereas other stats show that people spend at least an hour or more. Regardless of which of these are true, this is a huge percentage of the population using social media daily and specifically for news purposes outlining the drastic shift in the public’s habits.

The Threat to Publishers and News Stations

With this shift in the public’s perception of the News they receive, publishers and news stations must realign their business strategies to adapt to the people’s habits. Therefore companies like CNN and BBC have used avenues online to target their viewers. However they can also fall into a trap of relying too heavily on one media source because they will give up control of their audience to that source. On social media there are many different News companies that broadcast their content in one location. If a company relies too heavily on social media for its viewers than it risks losing them to other features or even competitors content that is published.

Facebook Surpasses Google

According to Parse.ly’s first-party data across 400 publisher sites, Facebook took over Google as the number one source of traffic to publisher sites in July 2015. The company is trying to dominate the share of the market when it comes to publishing and posting news content as a traffic source. This would lead to a reliance on social media to get their News content to their targeted audiences. While publishers and news companies used to rely on their viewers’ loyalty. Now they must depend on social media to get their content out.

Publishers and News Agencies Pay Big Bucks

It is possible to post free content on Facebook but if a company wants to drive significant amount of traffic towards its own content, than you must pay Facebook for these referrals. This is good for Facebook but this payment also creates a reliance on Facebook for traffic. As mentioned, Facebook is trying to trap these publishers and agencies into their site so that they can offer quality content to their users while making these companies reliant on their referrals.

In conclusion we can see a dramatic shift in the way people gain access to news content online. From 2013 to 2015 there has been a 13% increase in the amount of people who use Facebook and Twitter for news. This shift should be taken very seriously by publishers and news companies who intend to keep and gain audiences in the future.

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How To Use Hashtags Effectively

Hashtags are an important part of our social media and tech culture today. So important that in 2010 the Oxford Dictionary added the word, and the board game Scrabble added it to their dictionary. Though most people in the world have heard of hashtags, or have seen them live in action, many still do not know to how to use them effectively. Hashtags are simple to use and can really drive traffic and engagement to your post or content – making them an important tool to know inside out.


Choosing The Right One:

It is not effective to just pick any word or phrase and proceed to use it as a hashtag. You should research which ones are already in use and in what context they are being used. For an example, if you come up with a hashtag that fits your brand perfectly, you need to make sure that other brands or individuals are not using that same one in a completely different way. This can cause confusion and a loss opportunity for your brand, and it could pick up some unwanted attention.


Pick The Right Social Media Platform:

Different social media platforms yield different returns for your content.


Twitter is the originator of the hashtag, and continues to still be the powerhouse. Tons of research has been done to track the effectiveness of the use of them on Twitter. According to one study, tweets with one or two hashtags can double the chances of engagement. However, if you exceed two per tweet, the chances of engagement actually drops by 17%. Staying within two per tweet limit is crucial. It is also important to note how “engagement” is defined in research. The engagement that is activated by hashtags can include different types of interactions; 22% of engagement comes from replies to brand’s tweets; 78% are retweets; And 92% are link clicks. Depending on the use of them in a tweet, it can either increase or decrease this amount of engagement


Facebook introduced hashtags to their site in 2013, which was a late start for the social media powerhouse. Though Facebook currently ranks the highest for the most used platform in the world, their engagement using hashtags is one of the worst. Studies have shown that Facebook posts with hashtags actually have less engagement than those without. Furthermore, studies have found that Facebook and Twitter are similar in the sense that overuse can also decrease the amount of engagement and interaction. It is more beneficial to keep hashtags down to one or two per post on Facebook in order to receive interaction back.


Instagram is the complete opposite to Twitter and Facebook when it comes to hashtags. Other social media sites diminish your return on engagement with the more hashtags you use per post. Instagram views this in a different light, and the more hashtags that are used the more noticed, liked, shared, and commented your post will get. Post that exceed 11 or more hashtags, are the post that bring in the highest number of interactions. Hashtags can be your best bet for growing a fast following on Instagram.


Timing is Everything:

As with most things in life, everything always comes down to timing. The same can be said with using hashtags on social media sites. There are many different online tools that can help you set up and schedule times to post content to your social media sites. This helps with getting content out during times of high usage, and on significant dates (e.g. holidays, campaign launches, etc). This can really help with getting your hashtag out there, and bringing in traffic.


Hashtags are a huge part of our social media sites today. Hashtags allow brands to reach more followers, give followers the opportunity to engage and interact with their favourite brand. It is one of the greatest inventions and one of the best things for online marketing.