Social Media a Promotion:Culture Counts

by Jennifer Khanweiler, Ph.D.

On Page p. 142 of Quiet Influence I feature a sidebar from my colleague, branding consultant Mike Wittenstein who shares several great suggestions about how you can use SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTION:CULTURE COUNTSsocial media as one way to become a thought leader. For instance, he suggests that you write regularly about what you know and link your writing to what’s going on in the world.  Regarding Twitter, he advises:

“Develop some good Twitter buddies and provide them with draft tweets about your content from their point of view. It will be really easy for them to help you spread your message. And don’t forget to tweet about their work too.”

Makes sense, right? Get your message out there by making it easy for your colleagues to promote you in a low-key way.

Well not everywhere.  Shortly after learning that the rights to Quiet Influence were sold to Japan, I received a succinct, polite email from my publisher. It asked for my permission to eliminate two sentences from the chapter. Guess which sentences? Yup. You got it.

The explanation went like this: “The publisher is afraid that in Japan there is a culture where asking someone to mention you is not good manners. “

Of course I said yes. In Japan, I suspect that people engage in the quiet strength of focused conversations. When they want to share your ideas or promote your vision, they will do it in a more, subtle, low-key way.

This experience was a good reminder that we need to always consider the background, style and cultural norms of those we are trying to reach. Social media is definitely not “a one size fits all” game. What suggestions do you have re: adapting your message to the culture you are in?

If you found these tips from Jennifer Kahnweiler, Ph.D. of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at 


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