LinkedIn is the most popular social network among business journalists, with 92% having a LinkedIn account, according to the 2011 Arketi Web Watch Media Survey released in July 2011. Facebook follows with 85% of journalists using the world’s most popular social media site.
Journalists use Twitter at almost the same rate (84%) they use Facebook. However, there is a steep 31% dropoff between the rate of journalist Twitter use and the rate with which journalists use the next-most-popular social media site, YouTube (58%). Generic blog sites have higher usage rates than branded social media sites such as Digg, Flickr and MySpace.
Corp Sites Must Have Contact Info
Eighty-two percent of business journalists say a company without a website is less credible, and 81% turn to a company site when they are unable to reach a source. Virtually all (98%) journalists agree contact information makes a corporate website useful to them.
Other corporate website features a high percentage of journalists find useful include search capabilities (94%), text documents (87%) and PDFs (84%). Conversely, fewer than half find features such as Twitter (47%) and audio files (45%) useful.
Journalists Read News Online
Sixty-four percent of journalists say they spend more than 20 hours a week online, with 21% spending more than 40 hours a week using the internet. Virtually all (98%) journalists read news online, and 91% search for news sources and story ideas.
No other online activity approaches this level of uniform usage by journalists. However, high percentages engage in activities such as social networking (69%) and microblogging (66%), while more than half blog (53%).
Meanwhile, other online activities like watching webinars (48%) and watching YouTube (34%) are less popular with journalists.
Industry Sources Remain Standby
More than a third (36%) of journalists say that more than 75% of their news outlet’s website is original content that does not appear in the print publication. However, even for digital content, just about every journalist still turns to the traditional industry sources (99%) for story ideas.
Other popular story idea sources include the also old-fashioned public relations contacts (80%), press releases (77%) and wire services (74%). Email pitches are the most common new media sources of information (71%), and the only other new media source for story ideas used by more than half of journalists is blogs (56%). Despite high levels of social network membership, only 44% of journalists obtain story ideas from microblogs, while 39% obtain them from social networking sites.
85% Call Industry Experts for Breaking News
When it comes to sources for breaking news, a leading 85% of journalists call industry experts frequently or occasionally, while a combined 81% check a company website and 80% both call other interested parties and check an industry website. Journalists are apparently more comfortable using new media to research breaking news than to obtain story ideas with longer deadlines.
ROI Research: LinkedIn Seen as Most Important SocNet
While Facebook has the highest engagement rate of the “big five” social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube), the highest percentage of online consumers think having a LinkedIn account is important, according to an April 2011 study from ROI Research and Performics. Data from “S-Net: A Study in Social Media Usage and Behavior” indicates 59% of online consumers rate having a LinkedIn account 4 or 5 on a five-point importance scale, compared to 53% giving this level of importance to having a Facebook account.