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The Age of the Social Influencer

Social-Media-Influencer-for-NonprofitsIn today’s age, anyone can be a journalist. The Internet provides an open forum for the average Joe to share their opinions regarding the news, products, fashion and celeb gossip of the day.

Take for example tech fanatic Pete Cashmore. Fascinated by new technologies and the changing landscape of social media, Cashmore decided to forego college and blog about these growing trends during the height of the social networking boom. In 2005, he founded Mashable, a leading tech site drawing more than 2 million visitors per month.

Although traditional news media continues to be the most credible source of current information, today’s technology allows consumers to digest news and information in all different mediums. From a public relations perspective, it is important to keep these up and coming blogs and forums on your radar.

We live in a ‘fast food’ news era where individuals can customize the type of the news they receive. Blogs including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and even Perez Hilton are among the top visited sites every day. These sites appeal to many different individuals, and a client could benefit from using this medium to generate awareness for a brand, mission and/or cause. Although it is important to keep traditional media in mind, don’t neglect blogs and other non-traditional forms of media.

Fact is, consumers are no longer confined to a handful of media outlets and now have a variety of forums to choose from. According to a recent survey reported by The Hub, more than 60 percent of people surveyed obtain their news news through Facebook postings, blogs and on mobile devices.

“Everybody’s different, though: Some people become loyal to certain sites, others get their news from Twitter or Facebook or Google Reader,” said Felix Salmon, in an article for Reuters.

In the age of the social influencer it is important to keep in mind how your clients can benefit from non-traditional media outlets. For example, always keep an eye out for bloggers who focus on industries related to your clients. Do they have a large following? Is their blog getting noticed? All it takes is a little digging.

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