by Josh Millar
In our world today, online communication skills are essential. While in some cases, in-person communication skills translate to online ones, there are some specific areas you want to focus on when it comes to communicating online. Online communication refers to exchanges like emailing and Facebook messaging, but it also includes content you share that contributes to your brand. Here are some of the most important things to consider when thinking about your online communication skills:
To maximize your efforts, especially when it comes to marketing, branding, and building your online presence, frequency is key. You might be sharing interesting content or posting helpful tips, but if it’s sporadic, it’s not contributing much to your overall brand. Though your audience might appreciate these things, if you’re sharing them infrequently, you’re not giving them a reason to keep you in mind. When you post regularly, you stay on people’s radar. All those individual posts, comments, and shares add up to a powerful online presence that people can remember.
While tone is important in both online and in-person communication, we have less to work with online. Without our audible voice, facial expressions, and body language, the words we choose and how we phrase things take center stage when communicating online. The idea here is that your tone should match your brand, and it should be consistent throughout all your online material. Whether it’s a description on your webpage, a blog article you write, or a comment you reply to on Facebook, the way you write sends a message that’s just as important as the subject you’re writing about.
How are we communicating online? Often, it’s through the content we share. It may be sharing content that someone else created, or it may be creating your own original content to share with your audience. While you don’t need to write a blog post a day, I’d recommend including at least some original content in your online communication. This helps your audience to get a real sense of you. It’s also important that the content is offering value. It’s not just about showing up on someone’s newsfeed. If your content isn’t useful, people will start to tune it out. Focus on your audience’s interests and concerns, and address these in your content. It’s also a great idea to occasionally ask for feedback so that you can continue tailoring to best fit your audience.
When you’re interacting in person, it’s easier to engage your conversation partner. You can simply ask them a question and you give them a way to participate. Online, you also want to be thinking about how you can get your audience to engage. The key here is making it easy. And once people do engage, you need to make sure you’re there to interact with them. When you share something on Facebook, consider putting a question out to your audience. Invite questions and comments, and ensure that when people share these, you write back promptly. When you create opportunities for your audience to engage, you help them make a deeper connection and start building trust.
Online communication skills are essential to building a strong, engaging brand. It’s a great idea to regularly check in and assess how you’re doing. Are people engaging with your content? Are you getting back to people’s messages? Does the material on your website feel current? Online communication isn’t static. It’s a constant flow of information, so making adjustments is easy. Do you have any other tips for online communication? I’d love to hear your thoughts.