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BizReport : Social Marketing : March 31, 2009

Newspapers missing out on social media boost

On what seems like a daily basis, bad news about the newspaper industry rolls in - even for online publications. A recent report from Gartner highlights an important reason why online newspapers are having a tough time online.

by Helen Leggatt

gartner logo.gifThe title of Gartner's new study is a clue to where newspapers are failing online. "Newspaper Publishers must do more to Empower Brand Stewards" found that newspapers' use of social media is lacking and publishers are missing opportunities to aid their biggest fans boost their brands.

"Brand-loyal news consumers need to be turned into brand stewards who can wield their influence to two parts of their social graph - those who know them personally, and those who regard the brand stewards as tastemakers with similar points of view," said Allen Weiner, research VP at Gartner.

According to Gartner's research, the problem stretches from simple features such as the failure to optimize search on newspaper sites to a lack of integration between content and social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

Key findings include:

• Almost half (49%) of respondents use general search engines at least once a week to find content, yet only 20% use search tools built into a newspaper or magazine site.

• 24% share content they've discovered with friends or networks via personal communications such as e-mail and instant messaging.

• Just 7% say they usually/often share content via embedding into social network sites.

• Few newspapers offer the ability for their readers to tweet stories direct from the website, despite many of their reporters, and no doubt readers, being on Twitter.

"Although it's easy to criticize the newspaper companies for falling behind the digital curve and not thinking innovatively about their future, some of the industry's current failures fall under the category of looking past the basics," added Weiner.

"One of those basics is turning those who are fans of your product or service into your best and lowest-cost marketing channel. Even simple social media tools not only allow sharing and recommendations, but also provide a level of identity and reputation management to give others a snapshot of a content curator's credentials."

Tags: brand stewards, content sharing, Facebook, Gartner, newspapers, search, social media, Twitter

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  • Social Media is top priority today. Newspapers are lacking the social media content. Most view the news from their home Internet. For the newspapers to make any come back, they need to gear toward social media. New social networks are appearing every day in the social media world. Social media is the going "Trend"



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