A few of the major social media outlets.

It’s here to stay so we all need to make good use of it.

Social media has succeeded because of it’s ability to provide instant access to information on those you care about or those you are interested in. Be it a one paragraph write-up by a friend on Twitter, or a family reunion photo album posted by your aunt on Facebook, social media has taken online interaction to a whole new level.

One of the best parts about social media is that it is absolutely free. Anyone that has the ability to access the Internet can visit and sign up for an account on a social media site. That’s a pretty large audience. In fact, 81% of U.S. citizens are connected to the web. 

Many major outlets make use of Facebook and Twitter to post headlines of links to news articles. CNN uses one of its Twitter pages to post a variety of news topics. The other is used to post breaking news.

National outlets aren’t the only ones who use social media to spread news. In Las Vegas, KLAS-TV Channel 8, also known as 8 News Now, makes use of it’s Facebook page to post breaking news stories locally and nationally as well as off-beat “watercooler stories” to keep it’s followers in the know and entertained.

Social media is a powerful tool. It can also be dangerous.

Often times a single person in placed in charge of a social media account. Unlike traditional print media where journalists have their stories approved by and editor, those in charge of social media sometimes have the ability to post whenever and whatever they feel. It’s of the utmost importance to remember a few things when writing a news story or posting on a professional social media site.

1. Keep it professional (duh!)

2. Would you let your grandma read it?

Always keep those two things in mind and you should have no problems. If you are ever in a situation where you aren’t quite sure your post is appropriate, have someone look it over. It’s always better to delay something for the better than to post it and receive backlash from followers.