The world would stand still without communication; no matter how advanced we will be in terms of technology. To put it simply, technology just facilitates communication but it is people that drive and lead it.
Communication is incredibly simple. It is innate, we are born with it. But some may argue otherwise. It is important to clarify that what people think is difficult, is the understanding part of the communication process. Communication in itself is nothing other than common sense; if one thinks communication is difficult they may wish to review how they interact with others.
This is a key obstacle when approaching social media and taking communication to a digital level.
Communication has always been, is and will be all about meaningful conversations and purposeful communities. It is worth remembering that everyone throughout the communication process is a leader. So no one person has any superiority over another. If they don’t listen and keep trying to put their own agenda first, influencing people, this can be seen as negative on social platforms, where engagement is valued higher than “who can shout the loudest”.
Frankly speaking, influence in this sense is the most meaningless term in the dictionary, as it does nothing other than causing conflicts and arguments. No one needs to influence anyone if people care to listen to each other and give each other a chance to be heard. The truth of the matter is that no one has the ability to influence anyone. People choose to listen and try what someone suggests to them, because they trust or want to give a chance to the person who recommended them something. Communication like anything else in life has history and culture and what makes it sustainable is personality and collaborative leadership. Nowhere is this more important than on social media platforms.
KLM and Philips are two great examples of effective communication on a global level, simply because they have created a collaborative internal communication culture and built a strong relationship with their customers. They listen and engage with their community, rather than trying to lead and force opinion onto them.
Communication is all about people and because communication is about people, the future of communication is all about back to basics – being human and genuine. Despite the ever changing technology, the future of communication is nothing extraordinary. As we all know, regardless of our cultural backgrounds, human history started from the moment the first two people started exploring their living space on the earth and looked to inventing and creating new ways to interact with one another easier – essentially the stuff we refer as CRM and social media today.
We’ve been continually trying to simplify things and as a result we’ve come up with the most complex algorithms and platforms to do what is a basic human trait – communication!
Building brand image is of course part of any business communication but it is not going to be achieved if people and their behaviour are undermined. Interacting with people, sometimes referred as engagement in social terms, on its own is just one component of communication. Real communication goes beyond interactions. Communication is about building a community and being part of that community. No one is replaceable as Vala Afshar put it very well; and no one likes to be sold.
So stop trying to lead and influence and start really communicating with your audience today.