A few weeks ago, Binod Sundararajan was invited by the people at the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute to help them use social media to get their research out to those who would benefit from their findings. Their goal was to increase collaboration in oncology. Without question, this research will benefit many people and build upon existing knowledge and experience. Knowing how to disseminate this type of message using social media venues is an acquired skill-set, but it is based on existing communication best practices.
As Binod explains:
My model for talking about social media interactions is to always practice “effective communication.” Whether you use LinkedIn, Twitter, a Facebook page, blog or YouTube channel, your end goal it to convey a message by creating a conversation.
Know you audience: The audience is out there, waiting for your message. Be prepared by asking yourself if you understand what that audience requires. Who are your stakeholders? Are they internal or external? What would interest them? How would they like the message to be delivered?
Image and brand: Whether you are representing yourself or speaking on behalf of an organization, speak with clarity and integrity. The audience will measure your message by their beliefs and expectations surrounding your name or company/group logo.
I have found that critical listening is a significant factor in gaining trust that fosters long-term alliances. Listening provides us with invaluable information as to why an audience requires a specific message. We can then customize that message and choose the appropriate channel.
Remember, social media is a two-way dialogue. The highest vote of confidence that your message has been received is when someone responds and participates in a deeper conversation. Being available for follow-up, support and guidance will open new possibilities for learning and engagement.