Social media: The big question

Social media: The big question

Posted October 14th, 2010 by debritz

Does size matter? And by that I mean, does the number of Twitter followers or Facebook friends you have really make a difference -- especially if you're an old media company trying to make it in the brave new digital world? Without naming names, I've done a quick headcount among newspaper and other media Twitter feeds and discovered that a lot of them really aren't cutting it in social media. While a lot of them boast about the figures they are getting for their websites, some of them have miserably tiny numbers of followers on Twitter. Now I wouldn't read too much into this except that I know they are furiously promoting their Twitter streams in print, on air and online, so having just a few thousand (or in the case of some media, a few hundred, and some individual "stars", a few dozen) followers is a pretty poor result. It's also a danger signal for proprietors. With newspaper circulations falling and broadcasting audience numbers stagnating, they've got to make their presence felt online in every way possible. If their Twitter content is not engaging enough to pull in followers, or they simply just aren't on the radar of social-media buffs, then they do have a problem connecting with a potentially huge audience. And if, for example, my personal Twitter feed, promoted only by virtual word-of-mouth, has more followers than a major suburban newspaper group and not a heck of a lot fewer than a national radio network, it's a serious problem. With Twitter itself and some individual users starting to monetise their tweets, it's all revenue that used to go to the big media groups but isn't any more. And, the way they are going, never will again.