News – good or bad, true or false – has always traveled fast, but since the dawn of social media, it travels faster than ever. Here is how social media is helping news spread globally at a rapid pace.
How news reaches us today
Once upon a time, we had to wait for newspapers and news reports on the TV or radio to get the latest local, national and international news.
Today, newsfeeds on social media pages and push notifications sent directly to both Android and iOS mobile phones keep you up-to-date on what’s happening around you – with the iPhone ‘Amber Alert’ feature even being known to jolt their unsuspecting (many iPhone owners first learn about their phones having this feature in this way) owners awake in the middle of the night to bring them the latest news updates.
What’s more, the ability to instantly record and share news directly from your mobile as they happen means in many cases, news about natural disasters, bombings, shootings, etc. reach social media before news crews can make it to the scene.
This was, for instance, the case with the 2012 mass shooting at Colorado’s Aurora Movie Theatre, where witnesses were posting updates to social media well before news crews arrived – and when the Cologne fans came in their masses supporting their team during their Europa League clash against Arsenal closing down much of central London.
How social media helps news spread faster than ever
The thing is, once posted onto social media, news takes on a life of its own. Shared by readers among their networks of friends, news reach exponentially growing numbers of people fast.
New mobile features are allowing companies to reach a new audience, whether this is through Ad Formats or taking advantage of Live-Streaming technology. A range of sports leagues, businesses and event organisations stream on social networking platforms to followers. Some of the top watched include Wimbledon, the Solar Eclipse which attracted more than $40 million viewers, poker and E-sports competitions. Twitch, one of the main platforms for live E-sport streaming and videos provides for a range of excellent material in which you can learn from, this is all shared out on social media so it attracts individuals on to their site increasing viewing visitor numbers. Some of the best material includes a broadcast of ultimate high-stakes poker and League of Legends. Each of these videos has in between 200,000 and 1 Million total views.
Diffusing differently across social networks depending on whether an event was expected or occurred suddenly without warning (you can learn more about this here), many news items quickly go ‘viral’ – meaning they reach vast numbers of people within a very short time.
Social media ‘blunders’ – often unwittingly made remarks or unknowingly recorded examples of a celebrity’s ‘bad behaviour’ – ‘travel’ even faster, especially if they cause outrage among viewers. Such blunders can have far reaching, costly consequences, so watching what you say and do on social media is of utmost importance, especially if you are already within the ‘public eye’ due to your occupation/standing within society.
Social Media and PR
This rapid spread of news is also one of the reasons social media is so important to marketing.
Event organisers use social media to build awareness. Some of the top poker players, athletes, bloggers and celebrities have a significant amount of followers on social media. With the use of Live Streams on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, more tournaments are being shown live than ever before, reaching a new and diverse audience – pokerlistings a list of channels and streams to follow.
With the thrill of the casino a range of industries are using this as part of their attraction due to the role it plays in popular culture. Casinos are often used within films, music videos, literature, fashion runways and fund raising events. One of the best examples is Chanel’s Haute Couture fashion show in Paris 2015. The French design house invited many of the world most famous models, actresses and singers including Rita Ora, Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart and Lara Stone to be part of the spectacle. These high profile figures played on casino roulette tables placing “inside and outside bets” whilst the catwalk surrounded them making this one of the most extravagant fashion events. Chanel’s Haute Couture show attracted significant world wide awareness through a creative catwalk design, the use of high profile figures attracting a significant amount of press and an excellent fashion collection which was worn by many of the world best models including headline act Kendall Jenner.
Social media can also be a PR nightmare. Blunders, (inappropriate responses to customer comments/complaints, ‘joking’ remarks questioning a product’s quality like Gerald Ratner’s famous H Samuels gaffe, for example, etc.) can have serious and potentially expensive consequences.
From Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Pinterest; from YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ and dedicated news networking platforms, social media helps news spread faster than ever because every post is commented on and shared over and over across vast networks of friends.