Social media is a new way of communicating that has turned the traditional broadcast communication paradigm on its head. Social media permits anyone to be broadcast to the public – something that in the past was a privilege limited to wealthy individuals and corporations. Beginning with blogs and then moving to the more agile, fast-moving media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and more, social media has created all kinds of new opportunities to communicate with people all over the world – people we know and total strangers.
It has become so easy to send messages to all sorts of people that we are now nearly inundated in an ocean of messages. Some people want to tell us to buy something. Some want to tell us what they think. Many just want to tell us what they’ve seen or even what they had to eat.
As Unitarians or Unitarian Universalists, we are people who love and benefit from a faith tradition that we know can be transformative and welcoming for so many people the world over. Most of those people have not even heard of us! Most of those who have heard of us lack any realistic sense of who we are or what our movement is about.
Social media presents a new opportunity to communicate with some of these people in the larger world. Many of us have tried to take advantage of this new media and we have done so with varying degrees of success.
Because of its easy, we are easily tempted to forget some of the basic rules of communication. Primary among those are three:
- Know who you’re trying to communicate with.
- know what you are trying to tell them.
- Know how to get your message heard.