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59% of US Adults Do Not Trust News on Social Media

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A study on social media as a news source finds 59% of US adults believe the information shared on social platforms is inaccurate.

Pew Research Center surveyed over 9,000 Americans about their use of social media as it relates to keeping up with current events.

About half of US adults (53%) say they get news from social media either “often” or “sometimes.” Only 21% of respondents say they never get news from social media at all.

Despite the number of Americans turning to social media for news, there is great distrust around the accuracy of information being shared.

Could that be because of the specific sites people are getting their news from?

The report from Pew Research Center contains data specific to each social media site, including the percentage of Americans that use each site as a source of news.

Results of the survey are broken down by demographic, revealing the age groups and education level of people who regularly turn to social media for news.

Here are several of the report’s major findings.

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News on Social Media Inaccurate?

Pew Research Center reports only 39% of those who get their news on social media expect the information to be accurate.

That means over half of US adults who use social media to get news are questioning its accuracy before they read a single article.

It appears what they’re finding isn’t giving them the answers they’re looking for either. Just 30% of respondents say social media helps them understand current events, and 23% even say it leaves them more confused.

Let’s take a closer look at where they’re getting their news from. Perhaps unsurprisingly, you’ll find that Facebook stands out as the most common source among people who get news from social media.

Social Media As a News Source

Could the level of distrust and confusion around news and current events have anything to do with the sources themselves?

Pew Research Center finds these are the percentages of US adults who use each site as a regular source of news:

  • Facebook – 36%
  • YouTube – 23%
  • Twitter – 15%
  • Instagram – 11%
  • Reddit – 6%
  • Snapchat – 4%
  • LinkedIn – 4%
  • TikTok – 3%
  • WhatsApp – 3%
  • Tumblr – 1%
  • Twitch – 1%

It’s worth noting several of these sites are more prominent sources of news than the low numbers may suggest.

Take Reddit for example, which is used as a news source by 6% of Americans. However, among Reddit’s user base, 42% report regularly using the site to get news.

That goes to show Reddit is valued as a source of news by a significant share of its user base. Or, as Pew Research puts it, Reddit is more “newsy” than other sites.

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“If we consider news users as a portion of a site’s overall user base, some sites stand out as being more “newsy” even if their total audience is relatively small. Twitter, for example, is used by 25% of U.S. adults, but over half of those users get news on the site regularly.

And 42% of Reddit users get news regularly on the site, though it overall has a very small user base (15% of U.S. adults say they use Reddit).”

Another site that’s more newsy that you might expect is TikTok. Almost a quarter (22%) of TikTok users regularly get news from the site, making it a prominent source even though its base of adult users is relatively small.

For more insights such as these, see the full report here.

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5 Effective Ways to Run Facebook Ads A/B Tests

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Facebook Ads A/B Tests or split tests help them try different versions of ads with various campaign elements. This process helps them arrive at the best version for the organization’s target. 

A/B Tests offer a vast pool of resources to try out various versions. You may get caught up and lose your way to arriving at the best version in a limited time. To better understand this topic you can read the Facebook ad testing guide. Here are five effective ways to run Facebook Ads A/B Tests-

1) Start with the minimal number of variables

This approach will help you analyze the impact of a variable much better. The lesser the variables, the better will be the relevant results and more conclusive. Once you have various versions, you will need to run them through the A/B Significance Test to determine if the test results are valid.

2) The second way is to select the correct structure. 

There are two structures in A/B tests. One is a single ad test, and the other is multiple single variation ad sets. All the variations will go under one ad set in the first structure. Each variation will be under a separate ad set in the second one. Out of the two, the second one works out to be better and gives better results.

3) Use of spreadsheets is important to stay organized. 

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These spreadsheets help collect and analyze data to get meaningful insights and arrive at data-backed decisions.

4) Do target advertising and set realistic time goals. 

One approach is to choose an entirely new set of audiences. Also, the data pool should be vast and not the same as some existing campaigns. The reason for choosing a different audience is that Facebook may mix up your ads and give contaminated output. 

Another approach to choosing the right audience is to pick geography. It works better, especially when you have business in a particular region.   

It’s also essential to set a realistic timeline for your testing. Facebook suggests one should run a test for at least four days, but you can choose to run the test for up to 30 days.   

5) Set an ideal budget. 

The concept of a perfect budget is subjective. But, you can fix it yourself, or Facebook can do that for you based on your testing data. A large part of the test budget is spent on avoiding audience duplication. If the same audience sees variations, it could affect the test results.

Besides these top five effective ideas, you will need to take a few more action points to make the testing process efficient. Make sure you put the website’s domain link and not the landing page link in the ad, as that doesn’t look good. Put appropriate Call To Action Button, such as ‘Learn More,’ ‘Buy Now,’ etc. It’s also important to see how your ad is coming across on various electronic gadgets- mobile, tablets, etc.

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Another strategy that works is trying to engage the customer. You may add social engagement buttons such as ‘Like’ or ‘Comment.’ Use high-resolution images as they work better with the customers. Low-quality, highly edited images are often not liked and trusted by the consumers.

You can learn more about the audience behavior patterns with A/B test results. Conducting these tests on Facebook streamlines the entire process and makes it smooth for you. With the test results, advertisers and marketers can work on the creatives they need to utilize.

To sum it up, you can run an effective A/B test campaign within the specified budget. You don’t need to spend massive amounts to get your advertisement right. You’ll make the correct assumptions about the performance of variations with a good understanding of business and consumers.

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