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The Better Social Business Blog

Journalizing work in the trenches of all things web, social & interactive
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Reminder: Social Media Communication Is A Multi-Way Street!

Author: Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

On 30, Nov 2013

Just some thoughts on the topic of social media communications as a multi-way street on this Saturday night while I watch the Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith for the upteenth time on Spike.

I was reading the Leadership Unplugged: Stripping Out the Noise to Uncover a New Direction post by Roland Deiser and Sylvain Newton with great interest a few days ago. I went back to re-read it earlier today and was enjoying how Deiser and Newton use the era of MTV’s “Unplugged” segments (where musicians play their music “raw” or “naturally” without any special sound effects and the like) to help convey the notion that varnished, rehearsed communications (which are total opposite experiences to MTV’s Unplugged shows) work best for broadcast-focused messaging rather than for use in social media.

This is not exactly a new theme or message, per se, as its been a long held tenet in social media best practices to communicate “naturally” and without pretense or perfection. Per Deiser and Newton, “Striving for perfectly crafted messages makes sense in the broadcasting world, where a message is “done” once it gets into a distribution channel.”

In working with clients, you’d be surprised how often the notion of “being perfect” on social media continues to be a source of contention. There are some leaders and business owners who, despite being informed that a “raw” voice works on social and goes a long way to create engagement, really struggle with and/or resist the idea of unvarnished communications. This group finds the concept of “speaking naturally” to be rather unnatural and, as a result, work laboriously to craft the oh-so-perfect messaging.

As Deiser and Newton remind us, “a 140 character Tweet, or a ‘quick and dirty’ video taken by a leader on a Smart Phone about insights gained during a customer visit … demonstrates a hands-on, agile leadership style.”

Of even greater interest to me beyond unplugged-style communications is the reality that, as the post highlights, communicating on social media is a multi-way street. Think about that for a moment and let the truth of this statement sink in. For those that post and share on social, isn’t the glory of the posting and sharing always some kind of interaction — be it a retweet, a “Like” or a comment? Don’t we always look forward to how many “Likes” or “favorites” our social posts may receive? And comments? Wow. I know many who find incredible satisfaction and motivation when their online community at large takes the time to engage, express feedback or ideas in the form of comments.

To that end, then, multi-way communication is what we ultimately strive for; it let’s us know our content resonates and is found to have some value or relevance to those who engage with it.

Deiser and Newton say it best: “The real relevance of a message unfolds once the audience responds and further develops its meaning, by rating, sharing, commenting, liking, re-tweeting, annotating, and so on. In other words: Messages become powerful through socially mediated “co-creation.” It is the involvement of the audience that upgrades the content from “noise” to “value”. Being able to produce messages that inspire others to engage in a process of co-creation becomes vital to any leader in search of an audience.”

If you are someone who invests any iota of time on creating and sharing content, I encourage you to find inspiration in the idea of “co-creating” content with your audience. Co-creation should be one of the top three goals of any content you author and distribute. Before posting your content, ask yourself: “Is my content compelling enough to inspire co-creation?”

I want to thank Deiser and Newton for co-authoring a most insightful post.

And now, back to Count Dooku who’s been sliced and diced by Annaken Skywalker’s lightsaber in a daring galactic rescue of Chancellor Palpatine …

:)

P.S. Roland Deiser is a Senior Fellow at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and author of Designing the Smart Organization. Sylvain Newton is the Senior Leader at GE Crotonville Leadership.

Mayra Ruiz Mcpherson
Mayra Ruiz-McPhersonBrand Journalist and Digital Strategist Mayra Ruiz-McPherson is founder of Ruiz McPherson Communications (RMC), a marketing ingenuity practice based in Herndon, Virginia. Mayra — who also founded and launched the online career community SocialMediaJobsDC.com — often presents various digital and social media-focused topics tailored to business owners and senior-level marketing managers. She also instructs a number of courses, workshops and training sessions as well as provides private, on-site training on social media tools and strategies.

In between professional engagements, Mayra guest blogs and contributes content regularly to a number of publications both in and outside the Washington DC metro area. Mayra is also the editor of The Better Social Business Blog, "Pet Tech" columnist for the Virginia Maryland Dog Magazine, contributes an “e-Trends” column to the Loudoun Business Journal and is founder of the Loudoun Fairfax Local Bloggers Meetup group which mentors and helps local bloggers network, learn and exchange ideas.

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