If I said “social media” to most people, a few sites would probably come to mind: maybe Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and Linked In.  If I asked you to think about it, maybe you could come up with a dozen ways to share information electronically.  

So I was quite surprised when I went to share a newsletter article and the menu popped up with 96 — yes, ninety-six — ways to do something with the piece. I am sure this is the popular list and there are exponentially more specialty sites available for use.

I’m not on Facebook so don’t look for me there, and if you’re not on Twitter you’ll miss my tweets.  Maybe the medium we should be using for our organization is Plurk (one of the most popular social networking services in Asia), Wykop (social networking in Polish), Digg (delivering the most talked about stories on the Internet) or Fark (a way to customize your news and funny headlines).  

We tend to take the easier route — which is sending our messages to the masses — rather than taking the time to do research and segment to targeted audiences. We do this with marketing, but we also do it with our employees and err when we think one motivational message fits all.

The next time you need to communicate something, think not only about what you have to say, but how you are going to say it.  We’ve come a long way since smoke signals or pony express, but unless you are where your audience is it won’t matter.

— beth triplett

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