Six Steps To Master Communication In The Digital Age
by Simon de Cintra, Author of Unlock Your Business Voice
With the digital age in full swing it has become increasingly important to communicate in business effectively both online and offline. The world of digital can be an overwhelming mindfield with so many different platforms to communicate on surfacing daily, all requiring different communication skills. Consequently, presentation coach and author of “Unlock Your Business Voice” (Rethink Press), Simon de Cintra reveals his top six steps that will help you master communication in order keep up with the constantly evolving digital age.
Step 1: Embrace change
The pace of change in the digital age is undoubtedly unprecedented therefore in business today you do need to be proactive and consistently embrace change otherwise you will be left behind. You need to put time into researching new online trends and platforms, this will ensure you have the time to adapt to the new ways of communication required before the social media platform reaches mainstream. If you struggle personally with technology do not be afraid to ask for help from someone more tech-savvy or you could even consider hiring someone to look after this side of the business as this will reap dividends in the long run as we are now living in a technology dependent society.
Step 2: Don’t lose sight of offline communication
Of course you should have a strong focus on online communication such as acquiring the right tone and including the correct information in any email or social media communication, however crucially this does not mean you should be neglecting offline communication, such as face to face or communicating over the telephone. The key to unlock your business voice in today’s climate is to be an expert in both online and offline communication. If you lose sight of real life interaction there may be a large gap in your business model as many customers today do appreciate the “personal” touch over an automated style of communication. Mastering both types of communication will help your business achieve a USP in the oversaturated business market.
Step 3: Get organised!
As there are now numerous ways to communicate in business it is unfortunately easy to lose track on what has been said to who and on what platform. This is why you need to be organised with online communication - spreadsheets will be your saviour! Recording who you have replied to and when, as well as on which online platform will help considerably with keeping on track with communication. This will also help your colleagues as they can see whether a person has been contacted, when they were contacted and through which platform, preventing any duplication or miscommunication.
Step 4: Be social media savvy
As evident in the previous three steps social media is now a key element to online communication that you must master. We are in a sharing culture and as such being social media savvy just takes practice and it is relatively easy to pick up how to communicate via social media over time. Have a research into how competitors are communicating over social media and trial out different online communication tactics such as online polls, to see what will be the most relevant and effective way to communicate with your particular demographic via social media.
Step 5: Think before responding immediately
One drawback of online communication is once a message is out there it is extremely difficult to retract and a mistake can easily be seen by many people which can cause reputational damage. In some extreme cases a online communication mistake can be picked up by the media, especially if a buzz has been created online over what an organisation has said in error. Thus as a business it is important you do not respond and post online immediately, it is recommended you take a breath and think before responding immediately. This gives you time to assess the best way to respond and you can re-read your post to check it cannot be misinterpreted or is accidently offensive in some manner.
Step 6: Only include key points, most importantly do not ramble
Online communication requires quick and to the point messages, most people do not have the time when scrolling on their laptop or phone to read lengthy posts. You need to catch customers attention quickly, rambling is not an option! Reverse your mindset from ‘transmit’ mode to ‘receive’ mode for online communication, and open yourself up to the styles and behaviours that engage and hook your audience, this will assist in encouraging people to register the message you are trying to deliver.