Digital communication? We use technology in almost all areas of our lives and it permeates the professional world. You might have a LinkedIn profile, a Twitter profile, a Youtube account and more but has anyone ever shown you how to create an online brand that really works? Here we provide some simple tips to help improve your online presence and become a better digital communicator.
We are all supposed to be expert digital communicators, it is so integral to our lives but we are rarely advised on how to do it. Even digital natives need a helping hand here and there. Growing up and communicating constantly through technology is one thing. Using technology to reflect and promote personal brand in a work context is another.
Portray the right personal brand using digital communications
What is really important is that people know what kind of image they want to portray, this is often referred to as your Personal Brand. That has to be the starting point. Establish that bit and then work out what digital communication tools will best achieve it and how.
Jennifer Logue, executive vice president and head of the training service at Working Voices, is a big advocate of LinkedIn as a way to raise profile and project the right image. “It is great for spreading your personal brand and for keeping in contact with your network,” she says. “You can use it to spread articles or videos and to raise your profile.”
Twitter on the other hand is great for thought leadership. It is also highly effective for getting a message out there instantly, letting others know that you are on the ball and reacting to events as they happen.
Whatever the medium, make the communication effective
Logue thinks personal expression and presence is just as important in virtual communications as it is face to face, a consideration that can be easily overlooked. So when posting up a video of yourself talking about a topic, make sure you take as much care with your presentation as you would if it was taking place in front of a roomful of people. “You have to show interest,” says Logue. “It’s not just about content, but also about facial expressions. You need to show energy and enthusiasm.”
Online communications are very much about connecting with people, particularly in relation to personal brand. Be connective, be responsive and be animated. The style of communication needs to reflect what is being said and connect with the audience in the right way.
Know your audience in the digital communication space
Jay Rhoderick, a US trainer at Working Voices, says people must always know their audience and keep them in mind. “You will come across as connected to your audience if you know what they are interested in,” he says. “You need to address them in a certain way, taking into account cultural, international and geographical considerations.”
In order to make a strong, meaningful impact, it is essential to understand and connect with the target audience. Otherwise, your digital communications and message will get lost in the overall chatter.
Go easy on yourself, digital communication is a skill
It is easy for people to be overwhelmed by the volume of digital interaction they are engaged in. However, not all social media interaction is necessary (by a long shot) and there are ways of managing your output to ease the pressure. “Some people like to dedicate an allotted time to social media or do it when they are on the subway,” says Logue.
Remember, it is better to engage thoughtfully and clearly on social media, doing less but getting it right, then to be constantly active but without a clear purpose or message.