Every company or organization today is, at least potentially, a news publisher. Many just don’t act like it.
Social media channels have become news distribution channels, which is largely evident in the ways the public today acquires information. This can be great for high-profile brands that convince customers to talk positively about new products and services online, but many B2B-focused companies have specialized offerings and niche target audiences that are less likely to stoke readers’ interests. Gaining steam online is just more difficult for B2B organizations than it is for consumer-oriented ones.
Additionally, the socialization of news has its dark sides for B2B organizations: misinformation spreads easily, and socializing your company’s news requires saying something new.
A recent infographic shows that since 2009, traffic to news sites has increased by 57%, and that 46% of people said they get their news online at least three times a week. However, nearly half – 49% — of respondents said they have received “news” via their social networks that ultimately ended up being inaccurate. In a B2B environment, these statistics signal how organizations can establish themselves as thought leaders within their respective markets and industries through social media channels.
Specifically, since social media is driving traffic to traditional news sources, companies can double down on positive media coverage by sending it out over their own social channels. Companies that push valuable and relevant content in this way establish themselves as a trusted information source. Many already do this.
More interesting is the potential for companies to be an intelligent filter of what’s already out there – a role traditionally reserved for reporters and editors. If the general public is getting bad information about a company’s industry, that company should have the social media tools in place to correct that misinformation. If the mainstream press is ignoring a newsworthy angle, that company should blog about it.
Then, there’s content creation. While consumer trends in obtaining news via social media channels are clearly visible through a significant increase in engagement, the Greentarget In-house Counsel study reported that a majority of attorneys are consuming large amounts of information but are not creating much content themselves. Why not?
One potential explanation is the gap between news and marketing. Social media users want to share news, not marketing messages. Perhaps many B2B companies have not yet found where the delicate balance between being newsworthy and being promotional lies, and are rightly refraining from heavy content creation until a strategic plan to do so can be put into place. That time is quickly approaching.
It’s no secret that the future of news consumption is online and the pace and intensity of information dissemination will increase. With the evolution of information dissemination through social media, achieving thought leadership will seem simpler to due to digital convenience and the ability to reach targeted audiences more efficiently – and perhaps it will be. But the B2B sector faces challenges that the consumer sector just doesn’t when it comes to socializing their news.