An infographic from University Southern California states the following –
87% of companies in the USA are using social media and 58% use blogs.
58% of companies use social media to interact with their customers and 71% use social media for communication.
Obviously the communications scene has and still is changing dramatically, communicating electronically has become the norm and is, in most cases, a very immediate event. While the act of communicating has therefore become easier, the immediacy of sending/posting and receiving means we should be very careful about the content and its accuracy.
Emails are a good example, mainly because it is a daily task, also as they are accepted as “original” and can be deemed legally binding and it is far too easy to be blasé about something we do so frequently. Do you rely on spell-check, do you even use it in your emails? Do you check the grammar? Do you start with a salutation? In a business capacity, these things should be part of the routine. If you received an email which was casually addressed and poorly written you would not have a good impression of the sender. Proofreading an email a second time before clicking send is an excellent use of your time. Consider having a face-to-face conversation with a colleague if they are close by in the same office, rather than sending an email – body language and tone of voice can provide valuable insights and avoid miscommunication.
Make sure you also take the recipient into consideration and use language they will understand, that means no jargon, no acronyms and plain language. Less is more, as most people in business are time poor.
When using social media be aware of how wide the audience could be, even a personal blog if it is associated with you in a business sense, should be carefully and thoughtfully worded.
This digital age also means we have our communication devices wherever we go and they are usually switched on. In meetings, seminars etc. ensure your devices are switched off or at least muted. If there is a truly pressing need to have the device on, set it to vibrate and inform others in the group of the possibility you may have to attend to a call.
The basics of communication still apply even though technology is constantly changing. Be clear, be concise and don’t be casual.