NATO Review – Social media and NATO: it’s complicated
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NATO Review – Social media and NATO: it’s complicated


Social Media and NATO:
It’s complicated You don’t really see
in a casual setting much discussion: Did you see what
the Secretary General tweeted? That said, it has been very notable
that prominent NATO officials, the Secretary General,
Admiral Stavridis, do have much emphasis placed
on their use of Twitter, on Facebook and other social media platforms.
However, it’ll remain to be seen how they get the word out that
you should follow them on Twitter. A lot of organizations
pay lip service to social media, and social media
is something you have to do. You can’t talk about social media,
you have to do social media. So, I’m glad to see that NATO
is creating Twitter accounts, getting the Secretary General online,
Facebook and all those platforms. But these are things that have
to be updated all the time, every day to gather the following that has
a real impact on what you are doing. If NATO has got a story to tell,
it really should place it primarily in media that
a younger generation uses. I don’t really know
of a YouTube channel for NATO. Video, as this module might
demonstrate, is more receptive, more impactful to younger people.
I don’t get much of a NATO branding in places like Twitter and Facebook, in virtual spaces where people
tend to congregate and want to. A lot of organizations fall into
the trap of just tweeting documents and people do not read that.
They want to know what the Secretary General’s
personal opinion is on some things. There needs to be some soul to it. It can be a very powerful tool. Most people, including myself,
I use Twitter really as a news feed, so I’m pretty much forsaking
going directly to news sites and… I’m following news organizations,
personalities, experts in the fields that I’m working on
and organizations like NATO as well. It’s an opportunity to connect
with young people, but it can’t be just paying lip service,
simply posting stuff on Twitter. You have to use, maximize
and understand the medium. Many people jump on the social net,
not knowing how to use the tools. A lot of news is obviously
made in the big newspapers, like The Washington Post,
The New York Times, etc. I found success occurs when you talk
to the smaller regional papers and some regionally
based websites, for example, because these are outlets that have
hundreds of thousands of readers who don’t pick up a copy
of the New York Times every day.

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