Social media is very important to new organizations and how they use it has a major effect on their rank. Various ways these organizations can use social media is uploading links quickly on sites like Twitter or Facebook, responding to posts on the sites they upload news to or allowing for free discussions on news in some section of the site. Most news organizations tend to ignore that last option, but it does not appear to have bad effects on the organization overall. The two news organizations I will be looking at will be BBC News and CBS News.
BBC News has sharing options to many social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, in all of the articles it puts up online. Other sites included in the sharing options include Digg, StumbleUpon or Reddit. The BBC has multiple Twitter accounts for various areas of coverage, such as BBC News (UK) and BBC Breaking News (BBCBreaking). The BBC has something called “RoundTable”, which uses a Google Hangout-type video chat to have a panel of guests talk on a topic. Regular people sometimes get involved, but they usually have some standing in the area. The BBC also has multiple accounts on Facebook for various areas as well. All accounts are verified, but I find no responses by the organizations or page admins at all. I believe the BBC has a policy of not interfering with the discussions of the commentators. It is unfortunate, but it does show a level of professionalism I admire. That’s not to say being involved in discussions with commentators would be unprofessional, but it does show professionalism to me. You go to the site for serious news and not to chat with the reporters like friends.
CBS News seems to have similar options with sharing. I found the Facebook and Twitter share options available on their articles. There are also options for LinkedIn and Google+. I found that to be a bit disappointing, but it’s not a total loss. CBS News also has Twitter accounts for CBS News and CBS Evening News. I noticed that both Twitter accounts have re-tweeted people, usually associated with them. That is something that shows some level of interaction with others, but it’s not that big of a stretch with those people being related to CBS News.
Overall, both sites use social media well. CBS News seems to try and be a little more personal. I suppose this is due to the BBC having a name as a world news coverage organization. There is BBC UK, but I don’t recall any reference to social media posts during broadcasts. CBS News sometimes reads off comments made about news stories on their Facebook page or tweets to their accounts. This makes things a bit more personal, which may matter to some people. It makes no difference to me because I mainly care about the quality of news and not the level of interaction the news organization has with me. This can vary from situation to situation, but that tends to be my stance on news overall.