By looking at digital communications as a tool to enhance and grow communication skills, we can learn to appreciate the unique outlook and fresh skill set it is providing users to make them better communicators.
Before social media, people were extremely limited in the exposure and interactions they could experience with people that they did not know in-person. Due to social media, the number of people we can now interact with at the touch of a finger is mind-boggling. Even though these interactions might not be considered personal, the fact remains that engaging with “digital people” is still communication.
Through these interactions, communication skills are able to develop and improve in ways that aren’t available through other forms of communication.
Below are seven ways that social media is creating better and more effective communicators.
Social media allows real-time feedback from audiences. Through analytics and other social tracking tools, we are able to see how audiences are responding to our communication efforts. This allows insight into what is working and what isn’t. Social media tracking enables us to modify our outreach strategies and tactics to increase the effectiveness of communications.
Social media allows communicators to easily expand their reach. The sheer number of people we can connect with via social media is infinite. It allows us to have conversations with people we would never reach using traditional communications methods. The “new norm” is targeting an audience based upon demographics of people who are going to respond to your content, rather than only being able to reach people living in a certain area. Social media has essentially broken down barriers that could impede the effectiveness of communication efforts based on location.
People who run social media accounts often have to think on their feet for quick impactful responses. Most people who interact with a company on social media expect an answer within an hour. Short response time opportunities can create communicators who can effectively craft a targeted response on a short deadline or under pressure.
Appreciation of face to face interaction
Living on social media helps you appreciate face to face interactions when they do occur. So much of our communication is now digital, that when a live interaction takes place it can hold a greater weight. Communicators can use this to their benefit by making personal communication interactions significant—messages that are received face to face could be more memorable.
Social media tools that limit the number of characters you can have in a post make you prioritize your messages. Also, knowing that your audience is going to quickly scan your content to pull key messages that are important to them helps communicators to define what the important aspects of their messages are.
Drive key information
Social media allows communicators to drive their message to their intended audience. Through targeting features available on all social platforms, messages can reach an intended audience in a more direct, effective way.
By crowdsourcing we can directly ask our audience what they want. This works to create more effective communications strategies. If you know what your audience wants to know, you can cut down on ineffective communications efforts that could lose you precious time and money.
What do you think? Can social media help make better communicators, or is it hurting communication skills? We’d love to hear from you!