Unfiltered Social Media Content Wreaks Havoc On Media Planning For News-Oriented Brands

Unfiltered news content continues to grow -- among social media platforms and elsewhere. At the same time, news content on legacy media platforms -- continue to rise. Start counting the ways.

One might hope the cream rises to the top, which could be the case for many straight-ahead journalists on print and online publications, on radio and TV networks. Even then, we will soon need a better definition for “straight ahead.” 

But with social media, as we know, it gets more complicated -- especially with the results now showing that 26% of those under 30 years of age regularly get their news content from TikTok, according to Pew Research Center.

Overall, according to the study, for TikTok, among all U.S. adults, the percentage is 33%.



This comes as somewhat older-skewing platforms -- like Facebook, Reddit, YouTube -- social-media platforms start to decline in news-content consumption, according to the Pew survey. 

With social media, news content can be mixed with user-generated content -- acting like it is disseminating verified and confirmed news information. And that makes it all the more complicated.

Many content providers in the social-media space neglect to filter or curate their material before it goes live. 

In this environment, figure that cable TV news networks will looking for ways -- perhaps not so successfully  -- of attracting these disassociated younger viewers. 

For certain, younger social-media audiences -- to some extent -- will transition into middle-aged news consumers.

But how much value will they really give legacy media -- print-based, now-online based newspaper brands, cable TV news networks, perhaps on favorite NPR radio station?

Legacy media platform marketing executives should be considering this as those social-media platforms become more suspect. 

One can continue touting that the legacy news operations might be the place for “truth,” “honest reporting” or “news content with no spin” -- but is that enough? Will that messaging become tiresome for those seeking better journalism?

If more “unfiltered,” unverifiable content continues to float around news digital platforms, there is inherent danger when it comes to those advertising brands backing that content.

Advertising categories and brands might find ways to back out of Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook. But there will always been some takers on social media: A video-game brand marketer, a younger-skewing action/fantasy summer movie, an energy drink advertiser.

But don't expect a D2C pharma brand to be looking for an 18-49 audience.

Many social media content issues -- and even iffy news stories -- will continue to yield big question marks for the advertisers who support them.

Isn't it time now for legacy TV news advertisers to have a radical new approach for the future?

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