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“The world is changing and we are increasingly seeing the lines blur between personal and business communications.”
With Mitel’s recent study revealing that 82% of small to medium businesses use social media to connect with consumers and clients, Andy Elliott makes a good point, and one that we think resounds on two distinct levels.
Companies need to be open and pro-active…
As Elliott states, the lines between personal and business communications and the platforms used for them are no longer as distinct as they once were. Wherever you find individuals having conversations about their personal pursuits and opinions, so too will you undoubtedly find businesses communicating with clients, consumers, employees, partners and competitors.
With such a wide range of audiences in one place, both individuals and businesses need to define an all-encompassing, honest identity that is suitable for the eyes of all concerned. And what’s more, it’s essential that those controlling the social media platforms are open to conversation, which includes debate, criticism and scepticism.
BUT… Be careful not to throw caution to the wind
Communication needs personality, there is no doubt about that. And we’d argue that this is even more important when it comes to social media. But equally, companies should learn from the mistakes of large corporates like Nestlé.
Take care in ensuring that the interlinking of personal and business communications does not simply result in giving employees the freedom to rant at the expense of valuable clients. Whether employees are using their personal pages or are responsible for the company’s dedicated page – it’s worthwhile keeping an eye on what they are saying about your company and how others are reacting to it.
So there’s a balance to be found when it comes to social media, but once it’s achieved it has the potential to give communications a vital boost. Companies like Marriott Hotels, Xerox and Johnson & Johnson would swear by it!