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Making Knowledge Mobilization Connections Using Social Media – The Old Spice Way

Facebook and Twitter have become such familiar words globally. When social media nouns like Facebook and Twitter become verbs as quickly as Google did (“Did you Google him?”  or “I’ll Facebook you” or “I’ll Twitter you“) we need to sit up and pay attention – especially with using these tools for greater knowledge mobilization.

Recently, we’ve all seen a greater number of marketers taking advantage of the popularity of social media to sell products quite successfully. The popularity of the recent Old Spice campaign has infused new life into an outdated product that many aptly considered only for Old Men! Some may find these ads annoying, some may find them savvy, and some may even find them sexy and distracting. But it shows that using a social media strategy seriously can create a far-reaching tool to spread knowledge about a product.

So why aren’t more knowledge brokers using a social media strategy to create a far-reaching tool to mobilize knowledge? (Yet another verb!). Isn’t knowledge that contributes to better social policy and decision making just as (or even more) important as selling products? Yet, it surprises me whenever I ask colleagues in the academic or KMb world if they have a Facebook or Twitter account and they say “no’! Perhaps because some think that such social media tools are only for marketers or for friends & family contacts.

One example of a successful KMb social media strategy comes from ResearchImpact’s Mobilize This! and their Twitter feed which helps translate research into clear language while also being informed by KMb from the social media community.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog you’re probably already making knowledge mobilization connections using social media. If by chance you’ve somehow managed to stumble across this blog and you’re not using social media to mobilize knowledge what are you waiting for?

If you’re not making knowledge mobilization connections using social media, you’re like the old man who uses old spice only because of an old way of limited and old-style thinking. Perhaps it’s time to splash on some new KMb cologne and attract some greater social media attention.

5 responses to “Making Knowledge Mobilization Connections Using Social Media – The Old Spice Way

  1. David Phipps August 11, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Reminds me of academics who muse about making their research “sexy” so they can “sell” their research except their audience is (usually) only other academics. Does social media make our conversations more sexy? It certainly gets them more widely disseminated and more likely to be read by someone who finds them interesting. I think “interesting” underpins sexiness…I don’t find anyone sexy who I don’t find interesting. Therefore, my conclusion here is that social media doesn’t change your research message nor does it make your message sexy just because the medium is sexy (thank you Marshall McLuhan) but it makes your research accessible to a wider audience enhancing the chances that someone will find it sexy (or at least useful!).

    Thanks for making us think, KMBeing.

  2. KMbkteam August 11, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Thanks for your comment David. I don’t think it’s about “selling” the knowledge through mobilization so much as sharing it. I used the Old Spice campaign to demonstrate how social media can be effective even for research that might not seem “sexy” or “interesting”. I agree with you that social media doesn’t change the research message or make the research more “sexy” but more accessible and informed.

  3. Peter Levesque August 12, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    The emphasis in many discussions of social media is on the medium rather than the message. Social media is fundamentally social. Yes we know that sex sells. The challenge is that most people neither like to be sold or be the product being sold. I suggest that the relationships being developed by social media are both wide and deep but not always at the same time.

    • KMbkteam August 12, 2010 at 11:51 pm

      Very true Peter. Nobody wants to be exploited or objectified – yet the broadcast/marketing/advertising media do plenty of it through their messages. I agree with you that it’s important to see social media as a means of mobilizing knowledge without exploitation or objectification as all effective and enriching social relationships – online and in-person – should be. Thanks for your comments.

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