Report on Communicating Effectively Using Social Media
Today, social media is everywhere with increasing applications and platforms through which people can interact and communicate. Social media accounts are no longer considered “nice” to have but have become part of everyday interaction. While social media provides a convenient platform for communication, its use in business communication has to be regulated to ensure effective communication and avoid the various problems that may arise as a result of improper usage (Aral et al., 2013). To ensure effective communication, the following guidelines should be followed when using social media in the business environment:
Learn How Different Media Work
The first step is learning how to use social media. Employees and executives must familiarize themselves with how each medium works to ensure that they use the appropriate medium for communicating different types of information. LinkedIn is used differently from Facebook or Twitter. To ensure proper usage, people should learn and be trained on how to use different media (Remidez & Jones, 2012).
Always Ask and Avoid Making Assumptions
While an individual may understand how to use social media, having been using it daily, colleagues and executives may not have the same understanding and experience. It is, therefore, important to ensure that you do not assume that everyone is conversant with the use of social media. Some people may not want to connect through social media since they may not feel comfortable with such platforms. Always ask colleagues and executives how they prefer to communicate. It would be useless to communicate work problems and issues through Facebook if a colleague does not regularly check their Facebook account. Some people prefer emails or phone calls over social media communication.
Practice Caution and Be Aware
People need to understand that everything posted on social media has an impact. People judge others based on what they post and communicate through social media, how they respond to other people’s posts, and their general use of social media. In the same way, individuals should understand that their posts and actions on social media represent their company, coworkers, and executives. Caution should, therefore, be taken when communicating via social media platforms.
Understand the Norms of Professional Communication Online
To build a professional image online, one must learn the norms of professional communication using online platforms. People should ensure that they behave courteously with people and colleagues online, just as they would offline (Remidez & Jones, 2012). Chat and informal language should be avoided to avoid sounding unprofessional and rude. Respond to people when they send you messages and comments, and acknowledge the receipt of information sent through social media.
Understand Security, Time Management, and Legal Ramification Issues
Almost everything shared online is accessible to the public. Therefore, people should be cautious of the information shared online. Security settings should be put in place to protect proprietary information and private documents. It is also important to acknowledge that social media use can be a huge time drain, which can negatively affect productivity. The use of social media during working hours should be regulated to ensure that employees do not waste time on different sites. Many legal issues may arise with the use of social media in business. People have lost their jobs for certain posts online. It would be great for the company to develop a social media policy to ensure that people know what to post and what not to post to avoid legal issues. Without such knowledge, people may end up sharing company secrets without realizing it.
Social media use is a great way of communication when properly managed and used within the company. Employees and executives should follow the guidelines provided to ensure the appropriate use of social media platforms and ensure effective communication.
Aral, S., Dellarocas, C., & Godes, D. (2013). Introduction to the special issue—social media and business transformation: a framework for research. Information Systems Research, 24(1), 3-13.
Remidez, H., & Jones, N. B. (2012). Developing a model for social media in project management communications. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(3).
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