The way our audiences view and use media is changing. The traditional “lean back” media consumption model is quickly becoming outdated. A survey conducted by iAcquire and SurveyMonkey shows that 40 percent of all web searches done on mobile devices are conducted while watching TV. A study done by Motorola shows that 60 percent of surveyed 16-24 year olds follow social conversations online while viewing TV content. These new trends show that users are consuming more media than ever before and becoming increasingly mobile.

In 2013, there are more venues than ever to broadcast your brand’s message. Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Google+ and Pintrest represent valuable opportunities to connect with your audience – wherever they are – but are you taking advantage? Too often I see companies hammering the same message across all of their social channels with little regard for the reason their audience has connected with them there.

Ask yourself this question – is my message inviting my audience to listen or to engage?

If you want your audience to listen – you will quickly find that your message is old news. We are entering a new era where viewers no longer want to be spectators – they want to work with you to shape the conversation about your brand and themselves. The presence of so many new social tools has gotten us away from our core message.

What we all need to realize is that great communication is not about the tools. The tools connect us to larger audience – but it is still about the message. It’s about providing meaningful content where your audience is. Long after Facebook is gone the challenge will still be the same. The most important thing that you can do is to determine what you want to say that would resonate with your target audience. Here are some specific things that you can do to help you find out where you should start.

  • Explore conversations your target customers are having on other platforms. For example, you can use social tools like Google Alerts to create searchable reports on what people are saying about your particular field – and where they said it.
  • Identify influencers in your field and follow them. You can help them sharpen their message and they can help you expand your reach.
  • Visit your competition and see what they are doing and how it is working for them. You never want to copy anyone, but by doing an analysis of things that they have tried it can guide you in a better direction.

After you do these things, and make habits of doing them, you will start to understand what your target audience is responding to and you can shape your message accordingly. By choosing the right type of content, on the right platform and with the right voice you will start to see your customers respond. Finally, if the most important thing you can do is figure out what to say, the second most important thing would be to figure out how to say it well.

You have a passion for your brand. Be creative. Be genuine. Your audience will thank you for it.