Here are some findings from the annual social media news survey conducted by TEKGROUP.
The majority of the survey sample indicated they have been using social media tools for more than 5 years (32.6%) with more than 53% indicating upwards of 3 years of social media tool experience. Gather Roughly 71% say they make use of social media tools between 1 and 4 hours per day, more from home (82%) than from work (68%).
Trending with earlier findings, 84% of our respondents indicated they frequently (62%) or exclusively (22%) use social media tools to follow or monitor news and information.
Nearly 75% of the survey sample reported sometimes (31%), very often (27.5%), or all the time (15.5%) use of the venerable corporate website when engaged in these tasks. Responses for use of press releases for the same tasks were nearly identical.
Moreover, nearly 75% of survey respondents indicate they sometimes or frequently visit a corporate web site after learning of a news story through social media channels.
Predictably, timeliness of social media tools was a distinct advantage, according to our social media mavens, with 76% indicating that news gathered through social media channels was either slightly (31%) or much more (45%) timely than traditional news outlets.
Not so predictable, however, was respondent’s attitudes toward accuracy and reliability of news gathered using social media tools. Almost half (49.6%) rate news gathered via social media sources as “roughly the same” as traditional news sources in terms of accuracy, up a full 10% from our last survey.
More than 90% cite the use of Twitter and 85% the use of Facebook as a primary source of news and information when following, sharing or posting – roughly twice that of NYT.com.
For the first time, Twitter (30%) edged out television (27%) as the identified source of initial awareness of a major international event – the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Moreover, both Twitter (61%) and Facebook (55%) bettered word-of-mouth (49%) as the method of choice for spreading news of the devastation.
Facebook seems to be a platform of choice for local news as 27% of survey respondents indicate they particularly tune-in for this type of information – compared to 15% for Twitter, and 10% for blogs.
Among social media sites, Twitter (90%) and Facebook (86%) take top honors as preferred social media news sources, with news aggregators Google News (55%) and Yahoo! News (27%) trailing the pack. Surprisingly, Wikipedia remains a valid news and information source among survey respondents the more than 50% of this group indicating they make use of the often-criticized site in their news gathering and processing activities.
Results of the second annual Social Media News Survey conducted by TEKGROUP International and Associate Professor Ken Payne of Western Kentucky University continue to underscore the importance of the online newsroom to corporate communicators and amplify the need for a comprehensive social media news strategy when targeting or influencing key constituents in the social media space. The survey – which specifically measured acceptance, use, and attitudes of social media tools to follow, share, and post news and information – garnered 573 responses from April 15 to May 15, 2011.