The argument about which is better, social media or more traditional media forms, has almost become inconsequential. It’s not uncommon nowadays to see news teams pick up their stories from topics that have been trending online, or to encourage their audiences to participate in the conversation using a hashtag.

One of the most recent examples of this was the #fatkini movement, which saw plus-sized women posting pictures of themselves to Instagram in their bikinis in order to challenge traditional beauty norms. The story was quickly picked up by a number of mainstream news outlets, and made its way onto our televisions. Why is it, then, that social media has become such a big influence on the way we consume our information?

Unlike when you read a newspaper, or watch the television, social media allows us to instantly react and engage with other people who are interested in the same topic. There are fewer barriers within the world of social media, whereas sometimes mainstream media can be a little one-sided.

Although news outlets are quick to report information to their audiences, social media is quicker. All you need is one person with a smartphone at the scene of an event, and suddenly the whole world can be privy to breaking news as and when it unfolds.

There’s much more choice when it comes to social media. If you’re particularly interested in tech news, you can curate your Twitter feed to be full of all your favourite technology news feeds. It’s easy to filter out the information that you aren’t as interested in – something that isn’t as possible with the mainstream press.

Although social media might not have fully replaced traditional media yet, it is increasingly being used as a way to react to the mainstream. For now, it seems that the two will continue to work together; however, it’s increasingly important that your own business is up to date with how social media can be used to your advantage. To learn more, get in touch with the Point and Stare team.