It has become a cliché to say that social media has changed the way we stay in touch with friends, family, and business associates. Whether in the form of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Hootsuite, Google Docs, or some other form of networking, social media has transformed our education, business, and personal worlds.
While I have described myself as a “recovering luddite,” I also have come to embrace and enjoy the possibilities of social media. I understand (at least on a small level) the power these tools have for our classrooms, our businesses, and our philanthropy. And I have come to understand, that social media can have a wonderful effect on our ability to communicate effectively. Really! Take a recently-released book for example.
Aaker and Smith’s book The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change (Jossey-Bass, 2010) not only provides evidence and strategies to harness social media’s power—it is a reminder of how to effectively communicate a message—and get people to take action for positive purposes in our world. Here, in an abbreviated form, is their four-point plan. Aaker and Smith refer to it as Focus + Get –which is the Dragonfly Effect (p. 9).
1. Focus on a single goal. Make sure it is measurable and concrete.
2. Grab Attention quickly. Make your effort or cause stand out from the crowd.
3. Engage your audience (readers, viewers, and listeners) with an emotional and authentic story. You want your audience to care about your goal.
4. Take Action now! Your message has to get people off the couch; you want them as active teammates.
The four steps are about clear, focused, and powerful communication. They are about making an audience care about your cause. They are NOT about manipulation. They ARE about connection.
The more I travel, the more I hear people talk about the power of social media. They want to know how to do use it for good; how to separate the trivial from the meaningful. Toward that end, on September 20 (4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time) I will co-facilitate a national webinar on social media in the classroom. “When You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Friend ‘Em: Using Social Media and New Technology to Galvanize Your Class” will examine the question, “How can we make social media a meaningful part of the educational experience?” I will be joined by my colleague, co-author, and good friend, Professor Amy Baldwin from Pulaski Technical College in Arkansas. More information can be found at: http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/461.htm.
Enjoy your week!
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