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3 more things you can learn from CSIRO about engaging Social Media

Even if you are not a “science nerd” you can learn lots from checking out the social media of the CSIRO – (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)

I’m so glad I started following the CSIRO’s social media – and I owe it all to a colourful photo of one of their people revealing her “other” passion as a hula-hooping circus performer.

Science meets circus

Anyway, I regularly check in to see what the CSIRO  social media and blog people are up to  – and to be honest –  to see what clever techniques I can learn from them.

I help organisations improve their social media. I’m an experienced writer and a fairly creative person – and yet I learn so much  from studying the writing  and bold creativity of the team at CSIRO – and YOU can  learn from them too.

Here are 3 lessons for you:

1. Make what you or organisation does RELEVANT to the lives of your audience.

The twitter profile description picks 3 things (CSIRO “contributions”) that are probably of the greatest relevance to the audience.

“Putting polymer bank notes in your wallet, insect repellent on your limbs and Wi-Fi in your devices.”

They start with the thing that would probably appeal to most people – money in YOUR wallet.

The writing uses the word YOUR. Readers substitute themselves in place of when they read YOUR.

So is YOU.

In fact one year TIME magazine had the person of the year as YOU and the cover had a reflective “mirror” strip.

The reader saw themselves. Think of the words YOU and YOUR as mirrors in which YOUR readers will “see themselves”


2. The writing uses  a tricolon in strong parallel structure. (Yes I’m a word nerd as well as a science nerd!)

That’s the rule of 3s where each line is in a similar structure:

polymer bank notes in your wallet

insect repellent on your limbs and

Wi-Fi in your devices.

And here’s another example of a tricolon in parallel structure taken from one of the early mission statements from NASA.

NASA mission statement

TB NASA story

I often talk about NASA when I try to encourage scientific types  to care about the importance of strong, clear writing – and of course  the benefits of a good tricolon in parallel structure!

3. I also like the “playful” tone of the  CSIRO tweets and blog posts.

It sounds like the writers are having fun and that they have a certain freedom  to not always be serious.

Many organisations  have social media that is deadly serious – and deadly boring!

The CSIRO tweeters will often re-post the same link to an article – but they will do it in a fresh style.

They are not afraid to use corny puns – “Pisa cake” OR riddles.

I was intrigued enough to click through to read both of these:

1. “What do zebras and maize have in common?” asks ‪@aciaraustralia ‪   ^AC

2. CSIRO ‏‪@CSIROnews Blog: 3D mapping is a ‘Pisa’ cake! Our Zebedee mobile 3D mapping system goes global:  ‪  ^VH

Now, your organisation may not like corny puns – but a question about what TWO things have in common CAN hook attention.

Anyway, I encourage you to  check out what the CSIRO tweeters and blog writers are up to.

I am not connected with them in way – other than being a science and word nerd who is a sincere fan of their bold social media style.

If you are interested in Social Media Engagement – here are 3 other links:

1. about the importance of re-posting with fresh angles. I often see organisations just post good material once – and the message probably gets lost in the icy silence of cyberspace.

2. Two more posts about what the CSIRO does well and techniques YOU can borrow!




If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

I’ve disciplined my self to check ALL my different communication platforms twice a day – as part of my Check-in Ritual.


tony biancotti


Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

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One comment on “3 more things you can learn from CSIRO about engaging Social Media

  1. efangelist
    June 12, 2015

    Reblogged this on efangelist.

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