Social Media and Communication

Social media is the new channel of communication. Instead of using our mouths to communicate more and more people are using their fingers. Wherever you look you can see people on their phones, tablets, or computers and a significant amount of the time they are on a social media platform. Social media stats show:

  • Twitter has more than 190 million unique visitors a month and there are over 58 million Tweets every day (Reported from the popular site Statistic Brian as of 5/13).
  • Facebook has 1.4 Billion users worldwide and it’s reported that half the people are actively using this social media platform (Reported from the popular site Statistic Brain as of 8/13).
  • Instagram has over 90 million monthly uses (Reported from the popular site All Things as of 1/13).
  • Youtube has more than 1 billion unique visitors a month (Reported from Youtube stats)
  • LinkedIn has more than 184 million unique visitors a month (Reported from the popular site Digital Marketing Ramblings as of 12/13).

People around the world are using social media to communicate, connect, and build relationships. Leaders who want to maximize their influence and effectiveness must adapt social media into their communication and leadership strategy. This requires actively using social media platforms. When you do, it can help you:

Connect with your people-

Social media allows you to stay connected with your fans, employees, or the people who are most important to you. Being around people the majority of the time can be physically impractical. However, through a smart device you have the ability to read your people’s social media updates, reply to those updates, and instant message them. This provides you with the ability to communicate and stay close to your people. The key is to determine the people you want to stay connected with while avoiding the distractions of social media.

Connect with customers or clients-

Using social media can allow you to hear the wants, needs, or desires of your customers or clients. For example if a person’s status may say,

“One of my goals for 2014 is to be promoted into a management position” or “I want to write a book this year” or “My new year’s resolution is to lose weight.”

You would be able to see what your customers or clients are asking for and then create a product or service that fills the need. Be sure it’s something the majority of your people are asking for or about. It can also potentially provide you with the opportunity to offer an already existing product or service that would help them. The key is to be prompt with your response after you read the status update.

Find and establish new relationships-

The social media platforms provide a person with unlimited connecting potential. You can connect and communicate with potential clients or customers, people in your industry, or those who have similar passions or interests. Personally, I’ve connected and built relationships with hundreds of people through social media. Several of those people I’ve had the opportunity to have phone conversations and face-to-face meetings with. When you actively use social media you can find and establish new and valuable relationships.

Questions: Do you have a social media plan that allows you to communicate within the three areas I shared? How can a leader use social media to better communicate and lead?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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53 thoughts on “Social Media and Communication

  1. Social media helps me stay connected to the students in Ignite, and the young people we’ve impacted in Czech and Romania. It’s a way to continue to pray for them, disciple them, and keep the relationship going even when they aren’t physically here. That’s what I use social media for – as well as connecti to other leaders.

    • You make another great point about social media being a way to connect with young people. I use it in my parenting. Our youth pastor uses it to connect with those in the youth group. We have to realize that the current generation of youth have always known electronic communication; they don’t know life without it. It’s part of how they think.

  2. The idea of watching the people that I’m connected with to get an idea of their needs (problems, desires) is excellent. Especially since it is likely that I have something in common with them and can possibly leverage that into a product or service to meet the need. Thanks.

    • It’s one way to find out what people want or need. It’s even better if you know them because you are able to get more information from them. Thank you for taking the time to read and share.

  3. For some reason, I never thought to look at my friends’ updates as a source of connecting them with my book. Strange. It’s a great idea, and it’s not stalking to sell, it’s looking at how I can help some of the closest people in my life. Great thoughts.

    • Hello Ryan,

      I think you can be able to better help them and promote your book by reading their status. Let me know if you see any results from doing that:) Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  4. You’re on it, Dan! I’m learning slowly. I’m also blessed to be one of the people that got to hook up with you face to face! I’ll be looking forward to our next cup of coffee when I’m in your neck of the woods!

  5. Great post Dan. Two years ago I avoided all social media. I am so glad that I am on there now. With my staff I can ask them questions about there life when they come in. Also it has allowed me to make some great connections like with you and Kimanzi, Lincoln, and Paul just to name a few. One thing that needs to happen for real relationship is to move beyond the social media like when we talked on the phone.

    • I appreciate your comment about “real relationships” needing to move beyond social media. Electronic communication is a great supplement for relationships, but it should in no way replace human contact by voice and in person when possible. So important to keep this in mind when considering social media.

    • Yes, I agree about moving beyond social media into phone, video chat, or face to face conversations. You can only go so far on social media. Thank you for bringing that point up.

  6. Yes, I have a social media plan that allows me to communicate within the three areas you shared. However, I don’t think I am specific enough about it. I try to be involved with it daily, but I don’t have a plan within each of them. Wondering if I should focus more there. For example, I share posts & retweet on Twitter, but I have not really had conversations there. Social media helps me as a leader because I am an introvert, and I work from home, which means I don’t get to see a lot of people face-to-face. Social media helps me stay connected with people in between the times I can see & talk to them. But again, I think I need to delve into this area a bit more. Just not sure what exactly I need to do yet within the specific details of my current social media plan.

    • Hello Kari,

      It’s great that you have a social media plan. Recently, I’ve been more intentional about connecting with and having conversations with people through Twitter. It’s allowed me to connect with more like minded people. I highly recommend taking time to think about how you can make the best use of social media, so that you can become “specific enough.” I’m learning what works and what does not through trial and error, which is how I think most people do. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

      • I’ve put a fair amount of thought into my social media plan, but it’s still too general. This aspect of blogging does not come naturally for me. I think it also has to do with my struggle making mistakes that others can see. I know it’s necessary and impossible to avoid, but it’s still my first instinct to try and do so. I think I’ll start with Twitter. Not sure how yet, but I’ll come up with something. Thanks for the advice.

        • Twitter is a great place to start. I think taking time to explore and find out what works best for you will eventually come. Let me know if I can help you in anyway.

          • Maybe I’m making this too hard, but do I just decide to start a conversation with someone? Or, do I find conversations that are happening (I’ve heard of them anyway), and jump in? I’m pretty good with techy stuff, so it’s more of making sure I am following Twitter etiquette. Thanks for the help, Dan.

            • Either way would work. I would suggest looking for conversations or Tweets that aline with your writing/passions. Then start interacting and connecting with those people.

  7. It took me awhile to get into social media but now I’ve embraced it. As a business owners it’s a little disheartening that social is moving towards a pay to reach model. It was great reaching an audience and adding value with spending a bunch of money but it was only a matter of time.

    • Glad your on board the social media train:)

      Social media is essential for business owners and dream chasers. It’s an undeniable tool that we need to use. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

  8. All the social media options out there overwhelm me. I’m struggling to maintain what I’m currently using. But God is guiding me and giving me peace. At this time in my life, my social media connections are limited. I just can’t do all that I’d like to do. But I can do what God directs, so I try to focus on that and not on all the options that are out there and that I’d like to use. Someday I’ll have more time, but not right now.

    • I’ve found being specific about the social media platform I use is helpful. I focus on the big ones like Twitter and Facebook because I know I could waist hours trying to figure out the other ones. I encourage people to find the social media platforms that work best for them then to focus only on those ones.

      “I can do what God directs.” AMEN! Thank you for reading and sharing.

  9. I’m trying to be more focused on how and why I’m using social media. My hope is to keep meeting new people and enriching lives. Social media is what you make it–you get what you put in and it’s important to remember there are real life human beings on the other end. Thanks for your insights here Dan!

  10. The last point especially is the one I’ve been appreciating the most the last few months. So many opportunities to connect, learn and collaborate with people I’d not gain access to any other way. Social media is definitely a tool to make the most of. I’m yet to get into instagram and some of the others though. Facebook and twitter are about all I can handle for now, I think. 😉

    • Hello Micah,

      I hear you. I’ve been connecting with people on social media for several years and it’s been so beneficial and valuable. One of my platform building strategies is to connect and build online relationships. It’s worked:) I agree, Twitter and Facebook are all I can handle too.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Also for connecting with me through social media.

  11. On a personal level, social media has allowed me to see what’s going on in the lives of my friends. I don’t want it to serve as a replacement for face-to-face relationships, but I’ve found that it actually helps enhance face-to-face relationships. It gives me something to talk about the next time I see people: “I see you went on a vacation. How was that?” etc. etc.

    • I was thinking the same thing Loren. Yes, social media has helped build new relationships but I think more importantly it has helped me maintain, renew and strengthen existing relationships. As a missionary who spends most of my time away from “home” this is vital.

    • That’s great. It can defiantly help us stay connected during those in-between times of seeing each other. I have several friends in Portland OR who I’m able to stay connected with because of Facebook. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  12. Hmm, I probably should have a plan! Instead, I get an invite out of the blue for some social media – google+ for example – and absent-mindedly sign-up and then ignore all google plus emails for the next year or two (or three) until I finally feel bad enough about ignoring all the things the emails are telling me to do like “check out what so and so is sharing with you” that I finally take the 15 minutes required to use it. :) I should clarify that I haven’t done that with google+ yet even though I think I have my info in there. Oh well!

    • I’ve done that, Barb. It’s why I only use the ones that best allows me to connect and grow my online platform. The two main ones I use is Twitter and Facebook. I think it’s important to find the ones help the most. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  13. …. and also to search for new clients?

    I’ve seen Twitter used effectively for job hunting for sure. It makes the interaction more personal.

    It’s an effective way to communicate with people en mass, isn’t it? Especially friends. Facebook is great for that. If I want to tell people what’s happening in life – sure beats sending multiple emails !

    Great post, Dan. Very different for you !

    • Social media can defiantly allow us to search for new clients.

      Yes, it’s amazing how quickly we can communicate something to a group of people. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  14. Social media is a tool to stay connected to friends, family members, business associates that you would not be able to stay connected with on a continuous basis. I think Leaders can use it to connect but not replace a good old conversation via the phone or in person.

  15. Oh yeah, social media is great for interacting with fans and getting an idea of what they want. I think something important to remember is to try and narrow down where you search for that information. Sure, I could do all of those social media platforms, but that takes a long long time. Personally, I try to stick with Twitter and Facebook. But I know others who use linkedin and Google Plus a lot more effectively. It probably depends on what you’re talking about and, more importantly, where the people you want to interact with are located.

    • Great point about “narrowing down where you search for that information.” It’s why it’s important to find the social media platforms that work best for the user. I also stick primarily with Twitter and Facebook. Thank you for taking the time to read and share.

  16. Hi Dan – i’ve been using social media for the last couple of years more to strengthen friendships and relationships. I think it’s a medium of communication, a tool we can use but ultimately it is a communication. If we look at it as such, then we have evaluate how effective we are communicating. What are we saying? Are we saying it persuasively? Are we saying it to help and inspire? Our social media is only as strong as our message – what do you think?

    • Great thoughts, Vishnu. I agree with you about “social media only being as strong as our message.” If we have a strong message and good social media strategy we will go far online. Social media has the power to promote the message we have and the stronger our message the better. Thank you for taking time to add to the discussion.

  17. Social media is a very poor substitute for real relationships. Because it’s easy and anonymous and at our fingertips, it requires very little work. I like it. And I loath it

    • I agree but it’s a great way to stay connected with people. it should not be the only means of relationships though. Thank you for taking the time to read and add to the discussion.

  18. As an introvert, I find social media to often be an ideal bridge to building new relationships and to maintaining those relationships once established. Facebook and Twitter also help us to find people who are pursuing similar goals and who have similar interests. I’ve met numerous friends through blogging and Twitter, and I’ve been able to meet many of them in the real world. No matter how much social media interaction I have with a friend, I still want to meet face-to-face.