Sometime in your life you will go on a journey. It will be the longest journey you have ever taken. It is the journey to find yourself. — Katherine Sharp
In the spirit of over-communication… I’m sorry.
This morning I knew I needed to get the word out about this weekend’s New Media Cincinnati Second Saturday event. At only 5 days away, I personally felt a sense of urgency, since this group looks to me, Founder and Event Organizer, for direction. While this sense of urgency originated from a “good heart”, the way the communication was executed had a varied effect on others.
I remember many years ago, that the head of a consulting division would send out messages across multiple channels, prefacing with “In the spirit of overcommunication…” His intent was to make sure the message reach everyone, at least on one channel.
That’s a lot like what we have in social media, isn’t it? We have Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, e-Mail, and several other media channels in which to communicate. At any given moment, people are watching any one of these channels; many are watching them all.
Here’s what I did:
- Created Eventbrite page for the June 2009 New Media Cincinnati Second Saturday event.
- Sent e-mail invitations to people who have either come to previous events or have indicated an interest in getting an e-mail invitation.
- Sent e-mail invitations to people in my address book whom I thought MIGHT be interested.
- Total number of email invitations sent: 289
- Registered for the event myself, notifying Facebook that I did.
- Sent a message to the New Media Cincinnati Facebook group, notifying them of the Eventbrite link.
- Total number of Facebook messages sent: 343
- Set up a Featured Discussion at the New Media Cincinnati LinkedIn group, notifying them of the Eventbrite link.
- Total number of people in the LinkedIn group: 143
- Wrote a blog post at newmediacincinnati.com with the details with the Eventbrite link.
- Let people know via the New Media Cincinnati Twitter account at the various stages above know that something was coming through public updates.
- Sent direct messages to several local people who follow the New Media Cincinnati Twitter account, with the Eventbrite link. Total number of direct messages sent out: close to 1000?
And that’s when the kerfuffle started.
Too much of a good thing
Apparently, the direct message from Twitter was the breaking point. I only intended to get the message out as quickly as possible, across as many channels as possible, so that people can have an opportunity to respond to it. This is especially needed when the anticipated demand is greater than the seating capacity.
Even so, I was only seeing things from my perspective. I misunderstood why people follow or have become affiliated with the New Media Cincinnati social media group among its web presence as though it was permission-based messaging.
Not everyone sees it that way, as I have found.
I don’t know how to communicate with you. Everyone uses social media differently, and that’s okay. Even so, there comes a point when there is too much communication, too much information.
Some of you won’t come right out and say that I’ve been communicating too much; you just delete the messages you don’t need. But others have. It’s taken a few hours, and I’ve finally gotten the message. I need to rethink how I communicate with the group and even consider limiting it to one channel.
Whatever that channel becomes, I will need to better space out the communication and remain consistent. It also has to be something I can do efficiently, since I’m still running this group pro bono.
How can I communicate messages to the widest possible audience possible, in the most efficient way possible?
No social media expert
This is why I’m definitely not a social media expert. This has been one of the lessons that indicates I still have much to learn. As Katherine Sharp indicated, I’m just a guy on a journey.
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