The language of social?

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about that language of social and particularly as I’m now starting a phase of my work where I need to start talking to, and influencing, stakeholders at different levels. One of the things I’ve heard so regularly in podcasts/articles/mags is about the need to talk the business’ language. One piece of advice was not to even use the phrase ‘social media’ at all.

As an example of the sorts of things that have been triggering this particular thought, I recently joined a meeting of senior colleagues and as soon as we started discussing ‘social’ there was an instant reaction from some who focussed on their own lack of knowledge of a particularly network and its relevance. I’m sure readers may be familiar with that.

It crystallised my own view in that part of the challenge I have, is to keep the understanding at a higher level. Individual upskilling issues can be dealt with individually. I need to get them to recognise the benefit of social across the organisation, even if they don’t wish to engage personally. Oddly for a social media bod, I’m entirely comfortable if they don’t wish to do it themselves, I just need them to understand accept that others can and should be encouraged to do so.

I heard one podcast last week where Jeremy Waite from Salesforce talked about the fact that he calls their work “conversation” and that word really struck home. It’s got me thinking that I should create a “conversation club” around my company. That way you start engaging people explaining why and where are good conversations happen and how we can help people both professionally and as individuals. Clearly it would be good for the company as the brand, and our expertise would start to appear in new places. And you can do that without talking about Facebook, or Twitter, or anywhere else as a platform. You go where the conversation is.

In last weeks Hobson and Holtz podcast, guest presenter, the excellent Rachel Miller from AllThingsIC talked about internal communicators being crucially aware that their audiences are getting switched off by business jargon. Makes sense. But I guess what I’m talking about here is the opposite of that – we sometimes need to speak the language of Business, address our stakeholders in language they understand, so that they can convince others around them of what we’re trying to achieve.

What conversations do you enjoy being part of??

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