Fake news, it’s just gossip

Fake news, it’s just gossip…

Really is anyone surprised to find that if you enable people to publish and share what they like online, via Facebook, Google, Twitter, Word.Press – the list is long…some of it is complete tosh. Publishing it and sharing it does not make it credible.

If my car broke down I wouldn’t leave it in the street with a note on it saying “Please mend for free.”

News is the same. You get what you pay for.

But the investment in news, media and quality journalism is a big one. And always there is commercial conflict between integrity of news and selling advertising space. Without advert sales and paid for subscriptions whether via a ‘pay-wall’ or not; print costs and news quite simply can not be funded.

bigstock-Old-Vintage-Typewriter-4827821.jpg

It is the content not the technology that makes the expert

So just exactly how do the figures stack up for UK news groups?

The Economist Group is a limited company made up of famous brands such as: The Economist and EuroFinance. The Group has three types of share ownership, including trust shares and special shares. This means that the integrity of how the Group operates and the quality of its news reporting is protected by the structure and ownership of the company. In fact over 43% of the Group is made up of special shares and trust shares, meaning that integrity is a core value.
The Guardian Media Group (GMG) parent company for the Guardian and the Observer newspapers; is also trust owned at around 50.1%. GMG reported losses of £62.6m last financial year (2015-16) the majority of which funded the trust ownership of newspaper.  As quoted in the GMG financial statement: ‘The sole purpose [of this type of funding] is to secure the editorial independence and financial security of the Guardian in perpetuity.’

Whereas if we look at Facebook it had total assets of $64.96m at 2016 year-end, and total liabilities including stockholder equity, at $5.77m. Google on the other hand made $111,649.51m in total revenue at 2016 year-end with a gross profit of $68,275m.

Hmmm… this points to the money being in advertising, and if all you have to do as a publishing platform owner is – well erhh – publish then the outcome is lucrative. Thankfully both advertising platform owners are now taking steps to block fake news, and Facebook is piloting news feeds that contain interest and industry related news only, the feeds will not contain news updates from friends.

As to Twitter let’s hope it gets acquired by a trust or by a foundation, so that it can continue its heritage as a news micro-blog publisher and retain Wikipedia (or Wikimedia Foundation) credibility. For businesses and thinking people everywhere the lesson is to check the source of the news first, unless it comes from a trusted brand.

siteAssets founder Sophie Relf

siteAssets founder Sophie Relf has over 10 years’ senior business development and marketing experience within leading media companies. Working for publishers such as the Guardian Media Group and Reed Elsevier owned totaljobs Sophie has had a wealth of cross-sector experience.

After leaving Totaljobs Group in early 2009, Sophie launched siteAssets. She quickly picked up a New Business and Marketing project with award winning media planner buyers agenda21 digital. Here Sophie gained rich insight and experience of cross-channel marketing. Whilst with agenda21 the agency picked up several awards and finalist positions for Social Media, SEO and Paid search campaigns. Sophie went on to audit Guardian Business and Professional, the commercial wing of GNM, and took a further project heading up Marketing Strategy  commercial with the Guardian. The focus was on unifying the marketing effort, and improving the Guardian’s portfolio of sites in terms of visibility and conversion. She also managed Guardian Jobs events, and ran several workshops and seminars on Social Media, Reputation Management, working with the Media, e-PR, Fair Access and Social Mobility.

Sophie has developed an unifying approach with organisations, able to spot gaps in the market and new opportunities. Big on resourcefulness, she looks for ways to leverage existing assets be they brand equity, individuals and team members, or unique products, or services.

Sophie is an award winner with OnRec 2006 for Best Marketing Innovation CLICK! and GradU8 – two virtual graduate recruitment fairs in the UK and also in NL. In 2012 Sophie was shortlisted by OnRec in the Technology Innovation category, and by the AoP in the Marketing Innovation category for the Guardian Jobs Facebook app that she developed for the Guardian.

Sophie has recently taken on the role of Campaigns Director for futuristic career social enterprise Enfuse Youth and is busy securing sponsorship for the NEW Campaign 2013.

Sophie is an IAB and an IPA member, and a published author on career management.

Twitter dumps LinkedIn – Ouch!

Twitter has ended its three-year partnership with LinkedIn, showing that LinkedIn always needed Twitter a whole lot more than Twitter needed LinkedIn. Why is this? Because LinkedIn lacks Social Media buzz, it’s a flat as Friends Reunited, and the end of this partnership means that LI may be headed that way too.

Why the partnership was so great for linkedIn; explained from an internet marketing perspective:

  • LinkedIn made Tweets visible in Google search results by publishing LinkedIn member news (in the form of individual Tweets) on their site;
  • This meant they were able to attract lots of professional users to their site;
  • This is why when you looked at what people [used to] search for before they arrived on the LinkedIn site you could see users searched on trade news items/hot topics (eg iPhone);
  • This was a bit of a coup considering that LinkedIn is not (and was not) an original news owner or publisher. In addition almost all (98%) of the traffic they got from their audience’s shared news and LinkedIn brand name searches was natural (organic or SEO) search traffic – which means that it was free!
  • So for three years LinkedIn overtook trade news owners from Brand Republic to the Guardian and also jobs boards growing their audience to over 4m unique visitors a month – that’s a lot. But now without visibility of all that trade news in the form of Tweets
And without…
Five months grace from 21 Feb* when LinkedIn member Tweets were still be published on LinkedIn and so were still being made visible by Google…
Now we (marketers, recruiters and jobseekers alike) need to look for some alternatives!
*Twitter shut Google out (21 Feb 2012) by partnering with Google’s biggest rival Yandex effectively bringing down an iron curtain on Google and its access to Twitter functionality and Tweet visibility in search results.

What this means for you as a jobseeker:

Think about your professional online brand, if you haven’t set up a Twitter account do it, and do it now. Check your privacy settings on Facebook and what you are saying during work hours. You are entitled to a social life, but consider having a professional Facebook account, one that you’d be happy to show a prospective employer. Whilst you are on Facebook check our BranchOut it is LinkedIn’s biggest threat. Based on what you do on Facebook and what you have put on your profile, you can connect with like-minded professionals on Facebook. Remember what’s visible on Facebook is down to you and your privacy settings, the BranchOut app is great – give it a go. Never share your Social Media logins. Do give yourself the best chance of getting hired.

What this means for you as a recruiter/hiring manager/HR professional/marketer:

If LinkedIn don’t start to pay to attract a trade reader (professional) audience the quality and volume of traffic hitting (and staying) on their site will fall. Check out BranchOut on Facebook, the app leverages a Facebook user’s network connections and has sophisticated likes and preferences data behind it. You are more likely to find talented professionals via this app.

What this means for LinkedIn:

They need to hire some skilled digital marketers!

For more web-savvy tips visit siteAssets, we run Social Media Recruitment workshops at a very reasonable price.

Good luck peeps.

It’s all about the money on Twitter

Good to see that Twitter are starting to take a stronger stand against trolling and have suspended a bogus Bill Murray account that had acquired some 136,000 followers; even managing to squeeze cash out of some of them after promising the reward of follows. It took Twitter a while to catch up with the author (or authors) as they kept changing their account name, whilst still retaining a high number of followers and cash for return follows, oh the attraction of fame…

From our perspective it’s taken too long. Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington recently quit Twitter because she was besieged by #PrincessTrolls – easily the worst type. They b*tched about her appearance and can be found sending hate messages to boy band, footballer, model and actor girlfriends. Our own Tweets on the subject of #PrincessTrolls both in Twitter and Facebook have mysteriously disappeared making us sure that it’s bot.txts (robots or automated) systems that are deleting offensive Tweets  Facebook wall posts. Perhaps Twitter just didn’t like our call to ‘sort it out’.

For advice on how to manage your Social Media accounts or any other digital marketing channels please visit siteAssets.co.uk we’ll be happy to help!