5. Finding the Right Audience
The secret for an effective communication is to address the right audience.
Not only, you need to use the right language, that means a content expressed in words that belong to the trade, for instance, in business, the term ‘business plan‘, ‘executive summary‘, ‘return on investment‘, ‘payback period‘, etc. are key terms that help your audience to understand your message without you trying to explain further. Key terms are essential to convey your message in the modern times where space and time are limited, either on a resume or in a pitch presentation, as people are too busy to hear the long story, unless you catch their attention in the first 30 seconds. This is the reason why I recommend to all of my students to start studying the key terms in the glossary linked to the topic of their studies, in order to have the right vocabulary on the main concepts. Knowing the concept helps you keep track on the arguments that enforce your message to your audience, but you must first know whom you want to talk to, and why they should listen to you.
For years, I was targeting the wrong audience, by communicating massively on Facebook, instead of on LinkedIN, where my real audience – business executives, CEO of companies, entrepreneurs – is present.
On Facebook, I created many pages targeted at different audiences, such as those who are interested in Vietnamese contemporary history and looking for ‘goodreads’ tips in this direction, or those interested in my ‘travel’ tips which draws the attention of long forgotten friends who emerge to drop me a ‘like’ or friendly comment. By the time of this writing, I think I have got over 2000+ ‘friends’ or supporters on my personal facebook page, some of whom I have met personally while working in Vietnam, and many others, on FB or remotely, through friends of friends.
For the past 8 years, I have been trying to raise the interest of my new FB friends on useful educational websites and other subjects of interest. I noticed one thing: my FB audience tends to click “like” to acknowledge reception of the message. It does not mean that they REALLY LIKE my posts. And it is really rare to have a comment, showing their personal appreciation and real feedback on your messages. On the other hand, my Vietnamese audience loves pictures or stories on real life experience, for example, my photos on my way to work passing through a Geneva park, or some excerpts of my book. For example, my post with a Happy Lunar Year collected over 11’000 likes in ONE day, at the cost of only USD5 USD for the exercise. Since that day, my facebook audience took off…
However, I have no illusions on trying to earn any money on a socio media platform. FB fans are there for just social encounters. There is no way I can get any serious exchange as everybody is beware that it is a socio media and thus, exposed to other people’s view without being invited. Personally, my FB experience is useful as I used my messages to communicate and share with “my” audience about “my week.” As FB has become THE “meeting point” for most Vietnamese, I can be sure to get some “likes” to any form of communication to measure my impact. Indeed, if you communicate in both Vietnamese and in English or French, you are sure to get some kind of feedback. In a way, it’s a good therapeutics for those who suffer a crisis of solitude.
As I learnt to post more professional content on LinkedIN, I have the pleasure to note that I got around 100 views per postings, and my profile is ranked among the top 2% of the profiles with the same professional skills. Obviously the audience reacts differently, and I am pleased to get more friends now on the LinkedIn network of professionals. However, academics have their own network such as academia.edu or researchgate.edu to get visibility as a Scholar.
My experience with academia.edu has been quite satisfactory. Academia.edu is a platform for scholars or researchers who posts their research findings and seek pier review on their paper. By subscribing to their service, I receive regular updates on the topics of interest, such as ‘international relations‘, ‘governance‘, ‘vietnamese history‘, etc that can be saved on my own space. The analytics allow to see the profiles of my viewers and colleagues who have downloaded or cited my work. The statistics on countries, organisations or universities, cities, areas of interest allow a better targeting if one wishes to contact these persons. I have created a page for myself on http://anhthoandres.academia.edu and can store my research works and findings on this personal ‘webpage’. Through the notifications received daily, I have noticed that my profile has been searched on LinkedIn very often, thanks to the communication by Academia.edu professional team.
There are certainly other platforms that are useful for research works, such as researchgate which I am less familiar about, most probably because their customer service are not so userfriendly as with my experience on FB, LinkedIn and Academia.edu.
Well, it is Christmas Day today, so I wish you all a Merry Christmas Season,