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Why You & Your Business Need to be Involved in Social Media

Why You & Your Business Need to be Involved in Social Media

    I joined Facebook in 2005.  I can’t dig up the initial registration email, but I know this because this was the last time that I had access to my college email, which was required to be a member of the social networking site at the time.  At first, it seemed like just another MySpace type site, although with a much cleaner interface and the ability to connect with classmates. If you watched the movie “The Social Network” or are in tune with current culture, then you probably know the jist of the Facebook story and how it’s grown, so I won’t bore you with the details.  These days, if you’re in business, have made a name for yourself or want to make a name for yourself, you need to be on Facebook. Why? Let me explain.

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    Back in the 1980s and even the 1990s, if your business wasn’t listed in the phonebook, you had to rely on word of mouth to be discovered by potential new customers.  Then along came the internet and slowly businesses started putting up websites.  It was great because you could put a lot more information on a website than you could in a small add in the Yellow Pages.  With the internet well established now, most businesses do have some kind of web presence.  If you don’t, you’re losing out on a lot of potential business. It’s like the phonebook of yesteryear – you need to be on it.

    Now, in the past few years, social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter have grown into something more than just a place to connect with old friends or classmates.  It’s now a way to give your business a public face to interact with the world and your customers.   If you’re not on Facebook, you’re missing out on potential customers. The same goes for Twitter.

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    As a consumer, I’ve found both Facebook and Twitter to be excellent ways to interact with companies.  Instead of calling customer service and then being put on hold forever, only to be connected with someone who can barely speak English, I can post a message on their Facebook wall or send them a message.  If I really want quick action, I’ll @ reply them on Twitter. Companies are a lot more responsive, especially if you have a complaint, if it’s out there for the whole word to see.

    But it’s not just lodging complaints that Facebook and Twitter are good for.  Since Facebook and Twitter are sites that people visit every day, you can use your account to constantly put out information about your company and to interact.  This will keep your company fresh in their mind, more often than if you just had a website because they’d only visit it when they need to.  Social media is like commercials on television for a business; you can get your info on the streams of hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people easily and for free.

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    Don’t own a business?  It’s still a good idea to be involved.  Whether you’re an entreprenuer, a freelancer, or a working stiff, you’ll find benefits to utilizing social media.  As a business and website owner, I can’t even begin to tell you how many contacts I have made through social media.  It’s gotten me interviews with people, press passes to concerts, PR contacts, media contacts, new writers, and so much more.  If I did not have a social media presence and if my business did not have a social media presence, I can’t imagine where we would be today.  As a freelance writer, I’ve also utilized social media to promote myself and gain contacts, and it also gives people who read  some of my work to interact with me personally.

    If you’re in the market for a new job, you know how important connections are.  Networking, networking, networking is key.  While it probably helps more to know someone in “real life”, you can still make connections online that could help you now or in the future.

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    If you are one of the social networking holdouts, it’s time to reconsider.  If security is your concern, rest assured that if someone really wanted to find where you live, they could do so easily without having to look you up on Facebook. You’re missing out on opportunities by not giving you or your business a public face on these social networking sites. Just try to refrain from posting photos of drunken revelry or other questionable images that could land you in some hot water.

    That being said, make sure to join Lifehack.org on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter.  There are some exciting things coming soon!

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    Julie McCormick

    Julie McCormick is a writer, and co-owner of The Cleveland Leader, a Technorati Top 1000 site.

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    1 11 Red Flags in a Relationship Not To Ignore 2 Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating 3 7 Simple Ways To Be Famous In One Year 4 How To Feel Happier (10 Scienece-Backed Ways) 5 31 Simple Ways to Free Your Mind Immediately

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    Last Updated on February 11, 2021

    Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

    Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

    How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

    Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

    The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

    Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

    Perceptual Barrier

    The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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    The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

    The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

    Attitudinal Barrier

    Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

    The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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    The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

    Language Barrier

    This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

    The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

    The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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    Emotional Barrier

    Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

    The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

    The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

    Cultural Barrier

    Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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    The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

    The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

    Gender Barrier

    Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

    The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

    The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

    And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

    Reference

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