Are you a Facebook fan? Or do you prefer Instagram? Are you often on TikTok or do you like LinkedIn?
I realized recently there’s something really important about this.
I started using Facebook back in 2009 (so long ago now it feels like dinosaurs were still roaming the earth!)
I went back to the UK for my sisters wedding and Facebook was great for connecting with everyone there and keeping up to date afterwards once I was back in New Zealand. And since then I’ve used Facebook as a kind of diary. I often write a story with my posts about my travels or renovating. And I like reading and seeing what my friends are up to.
But people kept on telling me to do Instagram instead.
I kept asking how it was different from Facebook and they’d say “It’s similar but just with photos”.
I tried it and I didn’t like it. And it wasn’t until recently I realized why. Photos are great, but I’m a writer. I love words. I love reading. I love my Facebook feed because it’s full of words – the posts, the articles, the comments. Instagram is about the visual and not words. It’s just not me.
One of the useful things to think about if you’re in HR or managing a team, is that people like different forms of communication. Some like photos or graphics, some while away hours watching videos, some like succinct business articles, some like click feed. Some listen to podcasts or watch webinars.
When you’re putting communications together you need to try and cover all the bases to really get your message through. So send an email, but use colors and graphics too. Perhaps send out a GIF or use a video. Utilize your company slack channel (or similar) if you have one. Do zoom meetings or make some good old fashioned phone calls.
Build in lots of ways to communicate.
Because the style you like may not be the style of the people you need to read your message. That’s why with elephant we’re trying out some videos. We also use graphics, we write articles. We try and give out information in different ways. Perhaps will also try podcasts one day too.
If you want to learn more about how to adapt your style there’s a management bites module on it, and will be covering this in our HR master classes this year. Or do some research on it yourself and make sure you use different channels to get your message out. As for me personally (rather than in my business life) I’ll stick with Facebook – where words still rule…. for now.
Angela Atkins is the co-founder of Elephant Group who now operate in NZ, Australia, the UK, Canada and the US. She is the author of the Bites series of books and the Management Bites training programme. She now lives in the south west of France, renovating a 200+ year old houseand regularly posts on Facebook about it!
I've worked in HR and learning for over 20 years. In 2006 I co-founded Elephant Group which is now a global training company. I'm also the best selling author of the Bites book and write many articles as well as my blog!