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The Alternative Board Blog

Who's Listening? Knowing Your Audiences on Social Media

Mar. 21, 2013 | Posted by The Alternative Board

Knowing Your Audience(s) on Social Media

Imagine me clapping my palms together and rubbing them together gleefully, and you'll get a strong idea of my vehemence with regards to audience in social media.

News Flash: You are going to screw up on social media. With the best of intentions and the most thorough social media strategy, you will still be human and forget which channel you're updating or which list you're posting to, and panic will ensue. However, the good news is: You can conquer social media, and it's all about Pause and Control. Granted, there is far more to effective messaging on your social media channels, but for now let's focus on keeping your reputation intact and out of the danger zone.

PAUSE.

You've just crafted a witty, timely, and even epic update on your social media channel. As much as you might want need to get the jump on a story, announcement, or insight, you need to do one vital thing before clicking on that Send button. Lift your hands off the mouse/keyboard and take a pregnant pause. Do two things quickly:

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  • assess what you've just typed, linked, or attached, and ask yourself if this update has any negative consequences tied to it.
  • recall which channel you're on, who can potentially receive your update, and how they might react.

If you've taken that pause and have no misgivings about how your audience will take this update, proceed to send it on its merry way with a clear conscience. (Disclaimer: This is no guarantee reactions won't go completely awry from your prediction, but at least your odds are now better.)

CONTROL.

Technology is simply awesome, and the tools at our fingertips are getting progressively better. That said, it's important to remember that YOU, the user, are what drives the tool to its performance (not the other way around, in spite of trending addictions to connectivity). Thus before you wade recklessly into your daily social media forays, it's important to do two more things:
  • ask if your social media channel(s) of choice have announced any recent updates, and
  • do the legwork to familiarize yourself with those updates and how they impact your social media messaging.

Media theory has posited that technology can rule the person, or vice versa, or a balance flow of the two. I tend to agree with the last with the caveat that person trumps tech, at least in the case of social media tools. Just as you choose your words in real-life interactions, you too must determine when, where, and how to project messages into the online conversation.


Just to give you a treat for reading this far down another blog article about social media, here are some links to our favorite channels and their settings - review them now. Any of these need some cobwebs dusted off?

 

Facebook Lists for Friends

Facebook Privacy Settings

Twitter: How to Delete a Tweet <-- Be aware, it's still out there in the internet's eternal cache!

Google+ Tips on Sharing

LinkedIn: Managing Account Settings

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Written by The Alternative Board

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