In both the military and emergency management, we talk a lot about establishing a good battle rhythm. In nearly all emergency situations, it is not uncommon to initially encounter a “fog of war” which relates to the first few minutes or hours where information is cloudy, conflicting and chaotic.
Because it is ultimately important to impose order into chaos, emergency managers spend time working on manuevering chaos into routine. This routine is often referred to as “battle rhythm.”
As a battle rhythm develops, information begins to be shared more consistently in predictive patterns. This predictability lends itself to establishing solid public expectations of the incident response and the managers handling the crisis.
The same is true in the world of social media except on both an individual and agency-level, depending on the voice of the account. If your battle rhythm becomes predictable, you will engender trust among those you are communicating with. And, as such, breaks in your patterns will be noticed and likely questioned.
One of the most challenging issues people face is determining their personal battle rhythm in social media. It is easy to be inconsistent and blog “when you feel like it” or tweet occasionally as life warrants, but to truly engage with any type of following, it is important to be predictable to your world. If this means you can only consistently blog twice per week, that is better than blogging at more random intervals.
The world of social media can initially be chaotic, but by considering your true commitment to communicating in these ways, you will strengthen the conversations and impacts you can have on your community.