The research from the social media survey is still filtering in. Earlier in the research, 100 percent of our respondents reported using both Facebook and Twitter. After more responses have come in, that number has dropped a little to 96 percent. One news talk station does not use Facebook but uses Twitter and another news-talk station does not use Twitter, but uses Facebook. It’s interesting to see some stations that have not fully jumped on the social media bandwagon yet.

Sixty-five percent of the respondents stated that using social media breaks news faster, and 62 percent said that it provided another broadcast platform. I agree with the majority here. These days people are always connected with their Blackberries, iPhones and Droids. People are not always able to be close to a radio to tune in for their news, so they are checking their Facebook and Twitter to see what is happening as it is happening. If a station wants to be the first to release a story or even a song, they aren’t going to post it on their webpage; they are going to post it on Twitter and Facebook. It used to be that you could go to a website and from there discover if the site had a Facebook or Twitter account. Now it seems to be the other way around. Facebook and Twitter are the first sites people go to, and from there they can click links to get to more information.
Many of the stations expressed concern with the validity of social media sites. Anyone can be a “journalist” and post whatever they want. But that is why I believe it is so effective to have radio stations participate in social media. People want accurate information regardless of whether they listen to the station. A radio station is a reliable source of information and stations can benefit from their information on social media.

Two years ago we sent stations this same survey. Stations are utilizing social media more than ever and the results from two years ago have changed dramatically. Social media usage has doubled and an everyday person can now be a part of the news. Where will radio go next? Stay tuned…


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