Friday, December 13, 2013

How to Communicate Effectively through Social Media

Have you noticed the changing nature of the social media realm? Is it just me, or has social media become more volatile than years previous? You only need to read comments on a politicians page on Facebook, or browse through the tweets related to a hot topic and you read the vitriol.

How do you communicate effectively in this social media landscape? How do you promote your business, spark interest in your product or create change in the moral behaviour of your readership?
Here are some themes I see in relation to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Blogs, etc):

  • Popular leaders/artists/musicians, etc, do not have a Facebook Group, they have a Facebook Page. A page allows them to control the posts on the page. A facebook group allows anyone to upload a post, and therefore they shy away from this.
  • Any contentious issue is normally ignored by the owner of the Facebook Page. An initial post is created by the leader and then they go silent. Everyone knows they are reading over the comments (or in the case of many comments, quickly browsing over the main theme of the comments), yet they choose to be silent. I do not witness many brave Facebook Page owners with many followers, choosing to engage in discussion on their Facebook Page.
  • Using the hashtag effectively on Twitter can help get some momentum going with your brand or community. #social media #effectivecommunication #leadership
  • Cutting edge social media experts are great at creating viral ideas and themes. The classic was the social media strategy of Coca-Cola who printed a name of a person onto a Coke Bottle and then encouraged that person to place the photo of the coke can onto their Facebook Profile Pic. What absolute creative genius, to have the consumer, purchasing the product then doing the advertising for you! There were pictures of Coca-cola plastered across social media, and Coke were just sitting back laughing all the way to the bank. 
  • Images tell a thousand words and they evoke a response from the viewer, that's why they are spread all over the social media world. Use images as best you can, to engage people with your idea or brand.
  • To communicate effectively through social media, you need to prick people's interest. The  articles, posts and YouTube clips that spark the most interest all the ones that have a viral nature about them, e.g. the top ten places no one has ever visited. Most people can sniff at social media and determine what news article they should read and which they should avoid. Attempt to connect the people with interesting, inspiring, viral type social media, that gets people talking.
From a faith perspective, try to find the balance between serious theological truth and entertainment. If you head down too far with the former, you turn people off from even engaging with the theological truth you attempt to communicate. If you head too far the other way, you merely entertain a fast-paced consumerist culture and fail to have them grasp any of the truth of which you are sharing.

Social Media continues to shift and you must continue to wrestle with the challenges of communicating effectively within that social media, if you want to continue to engage people with your business, church, brand or product.

See also:
How to Grow your Blog Traffic by 300%

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1 comment:

  1. Great tips, but one thing I don't agree with is the starting silent on contentious issues. Social media is about conversation, interaction, and connection. If you choose not to engage, you're missing out on potential connections. Secondly, the are many examples where companies have stayed silent, and that has damaged their brand when people are asking questions, or complaining about something. It's important to not get into online arguments, but comments need to be recognised at least.


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