By Mary Miller
Be aware that social media does not improve your communication
Social media networks are great for increased communication, but are terrible for improving communication. For example, Facebook has broken up more marriages than the invention and use of the paternity test. Is it because Facebook brings out the worst in your spouse? No, it’s because communication on social media is so wildly open to interpretation that people can make innocent comments appear horrible in nature and intent.
You need to go above and beyond to improve your communication on social media
How you improve your social media communication is to first recognize that you need to improve your communication. It is to understand that even now there are people misinterpreting your posts and your comments. You do not have to feel so bad about it because social media is not the only place this happens. Any article writing professional will tell you that his or her work has fallen in to the hands of people who have warped it and become angry at it.
A picture says a thousand words - except a picture of some text
They say a picture says a thousand words because of how we interpret it. During an essay review of a history paper, a student may say that a picture showing the invasion of the Nazi shows the local populace being quite happy about it. You could see the picture and notice the many people at the back of the crowd who are not so happy.
Both you and the essay student are correct, it is just that you are both interpreting the picture a little differently. In an ideal world you need to lower interpretation so that your message is the one that is most likely to shine through.
Lowering the amount of interpretation
The bad news is that you have to turn in to a sideshow lawyer and cover as many bases as you can with your text. Here are three sentences that all mean the same thing, and how they may be interpreted:
1 - We worked hard to get every parcel out on time.
2 - Our staff worked hard to ensure parcels were delivered on time.
3 - Our staff made sure every order was posted on time
The first two lines are similar, but social media commenters are going to say:
“Get every parcel out of what”
“Why do they have to work so hard just to do their job?”
“I didn't get my parcel on time”
With the third line it is less open to interpretation, and even if people say that they didn’t get their parcel on time, you can reply saying that it was “posted.”
Set up a counter response
Just like with line three on the example above, you have a counter response that is plausible, and that is that the item was “posted.” The other lines (especially line two) imply that the parcels were “delivered” which you cannot come back against if people claim it to be untrue. Think ahead about possible responses to other user comments and cover your bases.
Learn from experience
You are going to write things on social media that get other people angry and that you cannot defend and you will suffer a PR hit. You need to learn from experience so that you know the difference between saying something was “posted” and something was “delivered.”
Counter attack is not the right course
You need to learn from experience and write posts and comments that are less open to attack in the future. Do not go on the counter attack or lower yourself to the level of the people commenting. Do not apologize either, just handle it with tact and care and learn better for next time.
The article was contributed by Mary Miller. Mary is a student and article writing expert. She’s passionate about writing, education and traveling. She has recently started her online tutoring career and wants to share social media tips with other teachers.