[caption id="attachment_3579" align="aligncenter" width="479"]Make the news work for your business Make the news work for your business[/caption]

Facebook isn’t just a place for social interaction any more. It’s becoming more and more a place where people get their news and share newsworthy events.

A recent study out of the Pew Research Center indicates that increasing numbers of Facebook users visit the site to get news, as well as to catch up with their friends and family. The study polled more than 2,000 users, of which 63 percent said they now depend on Facebook and Twitter for updates on national events and political issues. That’s a big increase from 2013, when they last conducted the study.

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This could have a tremendous impact on your business’ social media platforms—and it should change the way you look at your Facebook feed, and how you interact with it.

Survey responders that said they use Facebook for news increased from 47% in 2013 to 63% in 2015. They might check Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, but they stay for the news—whether it’s business, politics, sports or entertainment.

What’s more, the study showed that this increase cuts across nearly every demographic group, which means that your customers are in there somewhere, too, no matter what type of business you operate.  On Facebook, news use grew among men (44% to 61%) and women (49% to 65%).

[caption id="attachment_3577" align="alignright" width="300"]Facebook users do more than read the story--they engage with it. You could, too. Facebook users do more than read the story--they engage with it. You could, too.[/caption]

Users do more than just read the headlines or the stories, they engage. They use the relative anonymity of the Internet to increase their confidence and, let’s face it, the quality of the majority of comments on newsstands is poor enough to make anyone feel like they have something of value to contribute. Your customers can see who comments on what, which makes it an ideal place to show your own expertise by commenting on stories or events that would interest your customers or potential customers.

In short, businesses should align their marketing content with current events to engage users.

This is particularly true if the bulk of your customer base is made up on Millennials—people who are between the ages of 18 and 34. If you run an auto shop, that could be of specific interest to you, since younger people tend to drive older cars that require more maintenance or newer models that require an advanced degree merely to decipher a fuse panel.

[caption id="attachment_3578" align="alignright" width="300"]Weigh in on the topics that your customers or potential customers care about. Weigh in on the topics that your customers or potential customers care about.[/caption]

Nearly 60 percent of U.S. Millennials check Facebook once a day, and nearly a third of them check it several times a day. That’s a lot of potential new customers viewing your content or your comments on current events and news stories. What’s 30 percent of 90 million? Enough to keep you afloat, that’s for sure.

Remember, Facebook isn’t just a place to market your business or service or to swap pictures and recipes. It’s a place where you can interact with stories and newsmakers that your customers take notice of. They’re already doing it…you should, too.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

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