Where do you get your news? Where do your customers get their news?

The answers will help you navigate 2021.

Pew has vital data on our changing media habits; their American News Pathways report has a lot to say about how people understood 2020.

In short, we mistrust social media. We expect it to be inaccurate. Most think the platforms have too much control. But the attention is still fixed to these places inside our screens.

Most Americans get their news on social media. Facebook sits at the top with about a third (36%) of Americans getting news there regularly. YouTube comes next with 23% of U.S. adults regularly getting news there (and 75% saying it’s an important source). Even ‘election fatigue’ didn’t decrease engagement in 2020.

What does this mean?

Broadly, if you stakeholders get their news through social, they are less engaged and knowledgeable; you will have to work harder to hold trust and attention. They are less likely to have a proper context for news, too. Even the US national news may be skewed a bit in the social mix.

The pressure is mounting on platforms like Twitter to make moves. Note that Facebook and Google say they’ll pay for news now – a commitment made in the wake of service changes in Australia and elsewhere. The fight for first-party data continues, and it’s largely about revenue and privacy. There are known and unknown implications for marketing.

Earning reach and staying close to your stakeholders remains vital to holding trust and attention. Note that communication from “my employer” is the most trusted source of information in the 2021 Trust Barometer.

Please get in touch if we can help you plan or grow capacity in the attention economy.