Social media has overtaken traditional channels like the TV and newspapers as many people’s primary news source. Events are no longer reported; they are debated, and anyone can participate. Should your company take part in current events discussions on social media?

By transitioning over to social media, the news becomes a very personalized subject. For example, Twitter and Facebook users generally only see posts from pages they have liked. In the case of Facebook, users can even further refine what they see by clicking the “see first” option on pages they value more than average.

Red cup of coffee

This approach to news allows individuals to refine their newsfeed to only that which suits their tastes. And, if something ceases to interest a user, he can always unfollow any page as way of “turning off” that particular news source.

The ability to share stories on Facebook or retweet news items on Twitter has made the news more discussion oriented. When Starbucks released its new holiday themed to-go cup, social media exploded with people sharing stories either praising or disparaging the new cup. Such instances are common on social media. People, companies, brands—all weigh in on hot news stories.

The question still remains: is the news worth your company’s participation? As in the case of political statements, it depends. Your company can offer very valuable insight into a current hot topic, but if it will hurt you, it is not wise to do so. Businesses should only use social media for their gain.

See Social Media Today for more.