People communicate in so many different ways today. There’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, instant messaging, text messaging, email, phone, forums, comments, face to face, fax and written letter.

But sometimes we get so caught up in sending out the message that we forget who we’re sending it to. If we’re not careful the message might not be received or it might be misinterpreted.

We need to stop and consider our intended audience. How do they communicate with others in their network? Have they communicated with you in the past? What was their preferred method?

If you only communicate via email and they communicate via LinkedIn then it doesn’t matter if you sent the message or not. They’re not going to get it or, worse, they’ll receive it too late to do anything about it.

My wife tried unsuccessfully to get in touch with our step-daughter for what seemed like a month. She tried and tried but the expected response never came.

When I heard about this problem, I said: “I see her all the time on Facebook. Why don’t you just send her the message using Facebook?”

My wife took my advice and within 30 minutes she got a reply. It wasn’t the message, it was the method of delivery that was the problem.

There is one final part of the equation that we need to remember when we’re communicating with our social networks.

Even if you have the right message and you figure out the right communication method(s), you still need to remember the timing of the message.

I recently tried to share an important message with a group of individuals but it was not well received. The problem was not the message or the method of delivery. It was all about the timing.

Sometimes, a perfectly good message is not received because the audience is not ready to hear it yet, or because the messenger hasn’t taken the time to develop a rapport with their intended audience.

I’ve learned that even though communication method is very important to getting the message across to your audience, rapport and timing are essential to acceptance of the message.