How to Have Better Online Conversations

Many of us are moved to speak up and speak out, perhaps these days more than ever. You may have recently been moved to blog more than usual, or compelled to comment boldly on issues you care about deeply on Facebook or other social media sites. Whatever your reasons for presenting a more active voice online, as a professional in any field, you’ll want to consider how those conversations might reflect on your persona, your business and your professional life. You’ll also want to think about how your intentions might impact your teams and/or clients.

This isn’t to say don’t speak out, especially about the topics you feel strongly about. Even if you don’t see yourself as a constant commenter, adding quips throughout seemingly endless social media conversations, what you contribute even socially reflects on you professionally (if someone’s paying attention, and many are).

Your Voice, Your Brand

It’s mission critical to be authentic and consistent in your communications whether they are formal presentations or informal exchanges. If you’re in marketing (aren’t we all?), you might already be well-versed on how to build your authentic brand voice on social media. And, you already know that your online voice showcases what kind of person you are, what it’s like to engage or do business with you, what’s important to you and how you comport yourself.

Pro tips that help foster positive online exchanges (and lay the foundation for your authentic voice / brand building!):

Be thoughtful
Be respectful
Be intentional with your response
Be smart and measured
Be helpful not hurtful
Be an adult
Be quick to apologize

Try this response: My intention was in no way meant to offend you with my comments. I will take this post down immediately. Please accept my apology.
Instead of this one: You’re too sensitive! Of course I didn’t mean to bash your opinion!

Be able to drop it.
Be kind.
Be generous.

It’s important to have opinions. It’s important to showcase knowledge and expertise. It’s important to stand up for what you believe is right. And, it’s as equally important to be mindful of how we conduct ourselves in all areas, even those worlds which may not have a direct connection with our (paying) work. The impact of our intent is based on this very notion. We can all do and be better.

Next up: how to best build that authentic voice! Stay tuned in early 2017.

Eve Connell

Eve spends most billable hours writing, editing and helping professionals of all stripes with communication skills and leadership development. With degrees in French literature, philosophy, and linguistics, she also enjoys helping businesses and entrepreneurs develop their brands. Fancying herself a successful worm rancher, singer and flower arranger, Eve also lends her talent and expertise to several non-profit arts and educational organizations.

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