12 June 2012
Are You Influencing Your Audience?
In our previous column on Social Media for Defense we discussed some key points for engaging on social media while maintaining a level of security for you and your company. As noted there are tools available to secure your privacy while getting your message out to your public, but what is the message that you want to send to your listeners? What happens when the message is relayed using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other tools? We will look at this information here and in future columns.
To start a successful campaign, it is crucial to have a succinct message and the right channel to reach your audience. In a recent presentation by Scott Helfstein, PhD, with the US Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, he spoke about the importance of having a plan for your message before broadcasting to the masses.
Two types of networks are commonly employed for Social Media when it comes to reaching your audience:
- Influence Network
- Broadcast Network
In the influence network a company is sharing information designed to influence a reader to have a response. The response may be positive or negative; it can also be a prompt to action or a change in thoughts regarding a subject, product, person or group.
If a company is using a broadcast network, the company is sharing news and information designed to provide straightforward knowledge regarding a specific topic or subject.
While both of these types of networks have their advantages, social media is specifically designed with the intention of sharing and interaction. Keeping that in mind, the influence through your content is a natural result if you are sharing accurate and correct information. The social aspect of a social media actually results in specific neurophysiologic changes in a person’s body.
Studies have shown that social media triggers the same sensors in the brain as oxytocin and dopamine (Mashable). The connection between oxytocin and social media can be described in a manner similar to seeing your mother. The research suggests that Twitter messages can result in that same feeling. It facilitates transfer and altruistic behavior.
With the power social media has to build bonds with an audience it is a given that there is a need to have the message clearly and completely defined before beginning to share it with the masses. By using the influence network idea as a platform to provide your message the ability to accomplish your mission is greatly increased by using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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