At any given moment, an individual reading through Facebookupdates comes across news updates: which team just won or lost, if anearthquake has struck or the latest decision out of Washington.

The surveys back it up: Facebook is quickly becoming the newshub of the majority of online users. Twitter serves in this capacity, aswell, but the user base is not nearly as large as Facebook.

Even eclipsing Google News, Facebook news links are bringingnews to the masses as individuals start their day and spend much of their timefinding out what friends and family are doing and what type of news they aresharing.

No longer do people click to a national newspaper or TVstation website for news while they are online. Now, news comes to us, and assome have said, “If it’s important enough, my connections will talk about itand link to it. Now, the news finds me.”

Many major newsorganizations now integrate Facebook into the news cycle, adding widgets totheir home pages and posting news on the site at the same time it’s releasedelsewhere. At the same time, many individuals are realizing they can createtheir own news hub in the sense that RSS made possible: subscribing to newsfeeds through Facebook to create a customized flow of news and information.

Communicators need to consider Facebook when creatingmarketing and public relations plans. Even if a company is focused onbusiness-to-business, gaining attention on Facebook can boost awareness andthought leadership, benefitting the company throughout the sales cycle.

Some businesses are developing Facebook strategies; however,the social network should be integrated into a full communications plan.

— Tonja Deegan