The Eurobarometer Media & News Survey 2023 provides illuminating insights into Malta’s changing landscape of news consumption, which are essential for shaping effective communication strategies. Here’s an analysis based on the survey results:
The Rise of Social Media as a News Source
Dominance in News Access: An impressive 70% of respondents in Malta reported using social media platforms to access news in the past week, a stark contrast to the 37% recorded in the previous survey. This surge places social media ahead of traditional media such as TV (49%), online press and news platforms (49%), radio (21%), and written press (11%).
Platform Preferences: Facebook leads the way with 81% usage, followed by WhatsApp (72%), YouTube (54%), and Instagram (45%). These platforms have become integral to the daily lives of the Maltese .
Purposes of Social Media Use
Beyond Messaging: While 61% of Maltese social media users utilised these platforms to send direct messages to friends and family, 61% also used them to follow news and current events. This dual use underscores the multifaceted role of social media in information dissemination and personal communication.
Influence of Content Creators
Following Influencers: 53% of Maltese respondents follow influencers or content creators on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, indicating the growing influence of these individuals in shaping public opinion and disseminating news.
Preferred Content Types: Commentary on current events (including society, politics, and economy) is the most preferred content from influencers, followed by reviews (products, books, places, etc.), how-to tutorials, and insights into their everyday life.
Incorporating survey insights into Communication strategies
The Eurobarometer survey results underscore a significant shift in Malta’s media consumption landscape. This transformation highlights the critical role of social media in contemporary communication strategies. Here’s how to effectively utilise different platforms, taking into account their unique audiences:
Understanding Your Audience
- Demographic Insights: In Malta, younger audiences increasingly use social media for news. Tailor your content to resonate with these demographics.
- Local Interests Matter: Maltese users prefer local news and specific topics such as crime, lifestyle, and hobbies. Cater to these interests for effective engagement.
Strategically Selecting Platforms
- Facebook for Community Engagement: A staple in Malta, ideal for a broad mix of news, community updates, and interactive features.
- WhatsApp for Direct Communication: Popular for personal news sharing, it allows for more direct and personal interaction.
- LinkedIn for Professional Networking: Best suited for sharing industry news, professional insights, and corporate communications, especially for B2B engagement.
- Instagram for Visual Storytelling: Highly engaging for younger audiences, perfect for sharing visually appealing content, stories, and lifestyle updates.
- TikTok for Trending Content: Captures the pulse of younger demographics with short, engaging video content, ideal for trending news, entertainment, and creative storytelling.
- YouTube for In-Depth Content: For longer-form videos like detailed news stories, interviews, and lifestyle features.
- Twitter for Timely Updates: Great for real-time news, discussions, and connecting with a global audience.
Building Trust and Authenticity
- Credibility is Crucial: With influencers increasingly becoming news sources, ensure your content is accurate and trustworthy.
- Engagement Builds Trust: Regularly interact with your audience to build a community around your brand.
Incorporating Multimedia and Interactivity
- Visual Engagement: Utilize images, videos, and infographics to captivate the audience, especially on visually-driven platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
- Interactive Elements: Polls, surveys, and interactive posts can significantly boost engagement and provide insights.
Monitoring and Adapting
- Analytics for Insight: Use social media analytics to understand audience preferences and adapt your strategy accordingly.
- Stay Current: Keep up with new platforms, trends, and changing user behaviours to keep your strategy relevant.
The shift in Malta’s media consumption patterns is a clear indicator of the growing importance of social media in the realm of news and information. By leveraging these platform-specific strategies, you can effectively reach and engage with your audience, ensuring your message is not just heard. Still, it resonates in the dynamic and ever-evolving digital landscape.