It is NOT Mandatory to Use Twitter

The #TChat that took place Wednesday was titled, “#TChat Communication Tools: You Can’t Use Them All”.   Specifically, take a look at the questions that were posed and discussed.  The focus of this blog post is on question #2, “how do you as a marketer, recruiter, leader or HR pro, pick and choose how to collaborate with your colleagues?”

I am going to attempt to answer this question from my perspective as a human resources expert, because after all that’s where I came from and that’s where my brain is 24-7.

As a starting point, we all know that it is absolutely critical and crucial for business to be strategically leveraging social media.  We also know that approximately 8 gazillion social media platforms exist today, so it’s pretty easy to get confused about which ones are the best, and ultimately which ones to use.  You simply can’t use them all, but you can certainly identify which ones should work best for you.

A Jeff Waldman Psychology Factoid…

I have been saying the same thing to clients since email became mainstream, and that is, “it doesn’t matter what methods of communication you use, face-to-face is and will ALWAYS be king”.  It allows people to pick up on body language—visual cues that are so critical to effective and clear communication.  BUT… yes always a but… you can’t always be face-to-face with someone, especially in today’s highly complex world so it’s as important to complement the face-to-face by using non-visual communication tools.  It’s imperative that such tools effectively satisfy the unique factors (i.e. skills and interests) of those that you work with.  The rest of this blog post is dedicated to talking about a few of these factors.

In thinking about what the factors are, I identified many but then saw that they could all be grouped into 3 categories.  They are physical location, organizational culture and employer brand.

Physical Location

Our business community is global.  Within corporate environments, gone are the days where every single employee works under 1 physical roof.  It’s common for teams to be physically located in various countries around the world, and to have never spent a second together in the same room.

Organizational Culture

How is information naturally shared?  How organizations are structured and the demographic make-up of their workforces can significantly impact which tools will and will not work.  Does your organization support and enable open collaboration between departments, or are departments largely operating in silos?  Do you think a tool like Yammer, which is a highly effective collaboration tool, would work in a bureaucracy?  Or, do you think face-to-face meetings as the primary information sharing channel would effectively work in organizations that are staffed predominantly with Gen Ys?

Employer Brand

We live in a “branded” world with employer brand being a key one.  In effect, how an organization operates, how they are structured, and how they support, enable and measure success are key elements that define their employer brand.  These elements are also key drivers of who they attract as prospective employees.  Work and personal are more intertwined today than ever in the history of the organized corporate world.  As such, corporate workers are placing more importance on how a business operates (i.e. the internal infrastructure, the machinery/tools that run the business) than ever before.

If your organization employs traditional methods of communication then you’ll attract prospective employees who are naturally comfortable and interested in this form of communication.  The same can be said for people who love using leading edge tools.

At The End of the Day…

It was interesting to reflect on last night’s #TChat.  The one glaring thing that I realized is how many different methods of communication I use in my own life, and the final count was astounding.  I couldn’t even imagine how corporations (who are highly complex entities) could survive if they used too many communication tools.

So, where I’m going with this is regardless of what your employer brand is, regardless of where your employees reside, and regardless of your organizational culture, one thing remains consistent with all organizations.  That one thing is “simplicity”.  Keep things simple, do not over-complicate by using too many mediums of communication.  Pick the select few that work the best, stick with them and maximize what they can do for you.

By the way, it isn’t mandatory that I use Twitter… BUT… I use it because it has enabled me to effectively build and promote my personal brand, make awesome new business contacts and socialize with people from all 4 corners of the globe on mutually common interests.  It’s been a huge win-win for me.

My Communication Channels

There are quite a few but here they are: