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Learning to Speak “Social”

April 5, 2013

In so many ways the social web simply requires using common sense in a new way. After all, the Facebook didn’t invent the idea of community. It simply supercharged it through the use of technology.

Likewise think of a regular conversation. If you were discussing a business topic on the job you might use phrases and jargon that are well understood inside your company or your industry. But having that same discussion with your family at night would require a switch to plain language to give you any chance of them paying attention.

The same holds true for the social web. As you think about how you and your company are going to engage on the many networks of the web, you need to think about how you communicate. If you come on too strong and speak like an advertisement, you’re likely to turn off your audience who with then tune you out.

In addition, the information gathering power of the Internet raises the importance of transparency and authenticity in your conversation. If you present yourself as something you aren’t, your readers will figure it out and likely will point that out to the world.

The communication skills—especially listening—required by the social web are a vital step you need master to build any measure of success. Fortunately, the newest report from the Coca‑Cola Retailing Research Council of North America can offer you a wealth of tips on how to succeed.

Parts 6 and 7, and a brief executive summary of both, are now available for download at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb. Visit the site to find Untangling the Social Web and use the reports to help you successfully engage. Part 6 focuses on external communication (mostly customers) and Part 7 on internal (associates).

Detailed examples, exercises and action plans are included in both.


Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca‑Cola Retailing Research Council of North America