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Why news and social media go hand-in-hand

By Dylan Brown, Communications and Social Media Executive, The Clarity Business

At a time when newspaper readerships are continuing to decline, it's easy to assume that people have lost their lust for news, but that's simply not the case.

A study conducted earlier this year by the American Press Institute found that 69 percent of 18-34 year olds read the news on a daily basis, and a further 40 percent do so more than once.

What has changed, however, is the way people get their news. According to a new study by the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, almost 70 percent of Americans under the age of 30 now get their news from social media platforms.

So, if you're one of the many businesses publishing industry news content in an attempt to connect with online consumers, sharing on social media is a great way to capture people's attention.

Why we love social media

Ever since the 1990s, scientists have been aware that there are regions of the brain that are active during our downtime, but now neuroscientists at UCLA have unveiled that our brains are naturally wired to desire social interactions during these quiet moments.

That's why we check Facebook on our phones when we're standing in line at the supermarket or waiting for the bus.

However, thanks largely to modern technology, we are bombarded with anywhere between 300 and 500 messages on a daily basis, so capturing people's attention is no easy feat.

In fact, our attention spans have shrunk down to only 8 seconds long, 4 seconds shorter from what it was in the year 2000, so brands hoping to reach consumers need to stand out from the crowd.

How can you capture people's attention?

One of the best ways to appeal to people is to get inside their head. Buzzfeed's founder, Jonah Peretti, said they constantly analyse why certain pieces of content perform better than others.

"This was successful because it was tied to someone's identity, it was successful because it had cats in it, or it was successful because it had humor, or it was successful because it tapped into nostalgia," Peretti said.

While easier said than done, considering what news content your target audience finds appealing and centring your content strategy around that, then of course, sharing it on social media, is your best shot at reaching consumers.