Communicating on social media requires some additional skills and an adaptation of style. As social networks are interactive, they require a personal and engaging way of writing rather than a didactic and authoritarian approach. Large organizations, but also SMEs, often struggle with these characteristics.
The tone of writing on social media, particularly in the microbloggingis informal and conversational. When writing posts to blogsFacebook, LinkedIn or other websites and social networks, companies have to prepare to write responses to the comments and reactions they receive.
First of all, these responses must be timely, because social networks are dynamic 24/7. Responding to a question or inquiry a week or even several days late is unacceptable. Organizations, mostly governmental, that have policies of responding to correspondence within a few days are forced to review their working practices in order to respond to this new reality.
Some companies and government organizations have communications staff monitoring these media on weekends. These team representatives have the authority to respond, or at least to send an initial response (e.g. acknowledgement), even when more time is needed to prepare a detailed reply or comment.
These responses must also respect users' opinions, even when they disagree with them. Organizations and corporations need to remember that there are no "owners" on these platforms, or control mechanisms to intervene, remove or even prevent others from posting their unedited comments and opinions online.
Although some responses can be rude, aggressive or arrogant, positive and friendly participation can result in organizations joining the online conversation to make their opinions known, communicate their points of view and build networks of trust and influence.
But not only texts and written content make up the online world. An abundance of digital media have the capacity to include interactive features and include content other than text - in particular, semantically sophisticated content such as infographics, video, animations and sound.