Communicating With Your Team Through Social Media

Communication with team members is vital to your success as a leader. There are so many ways to keep in touch with your team members as you grow. Direct sales organizations used to meet in the living rooms of their members, and some still do. However, with growing teams in various states and even countries, we have to explore new ways to communicate quickly and effectively.

Facebook Groups as a tool of communication with team members
Now that Facebook is in over 200 countries, a viable on-line source of communication is the private group feature. Teams can share information, ask questions and learn from others who have faced similar challenges. Making sure the group is private will ensure secrecy and discretion. You can hold your team secrets close to the vest if that is the way you choose to do business. Or you can be more transparent by having an open group for communication with team members. You can also see who has and who hasn’t visited the group, in order to keep tabs on activity.

Webinars and telephone conferences for communication with team members
There are several webinar and telephone conference calling platforms that are reasonably priced or free and these are two other common ways to keep in touch with team members regularly. Many of our clients hold weekly or bi-weekly calls or webinars in order to share new ideas or training updates. Because this usually has to be a planned form of communication, it is not a good tool to get new ideas out instantly. But if you want to hold a call regularly and create a bond by seeing each other, Skype offers an online forum for video chatting. Your team members would have to set up an account, but that is easy for everyone on your team to do, and it’s free.

Google+ also offers a similar service through its new video conferencing. You can start a video hangout with a group of people. However, I have heard the concern that Google+ has too much access to our information and some people don’t want a Google account at all. So there will be a personal preference with the Google+ platform and this is something you as a team leader will have to decide for your particular group.

Video Messaging: a growing trend of communication with team members
Specifically in the European world, video messaging is becoming the newest cool way to communicate. It seemed that when Skype first came out, it caught on in the European market first. Now there are several video messaging options (more if you have a smart phone) that are available to use from your mobile device. The best thing is that these videos can be shared individually via email, or sent out to Twitter and FaceBook.

Sharing a new advertisement for your brand or company, being at the corporate global summit and taking a picture so you can share it with your team so they can “feel like they are there”, or any number of other things you would like to communicate with your team immediately can be done with video messaging.

If you want to use this cutting edge technology, we found two for you to investigate that Hilde says are being used a lot with her European clients. One new app offered by six3.tv can be used on an iPhone or with Google Play. Another form of instant video messaging is whatsapp.com which you can download to a Droid, Blackberry, iPhone and a few other common smartphones.

Digital Media Vs Print Media: Which Works Better for You?

It’s true that we all love the smell of print that digital media is unable to capture! We simply enjoy visiting the bookstores and leafing through the pages of new magazines, while the virtual world is still working on fragrance. Well there are challenges and comfort zones. However, it remains a fact that digital world is the new buzz giving print media a run for its money.

In fact, the one ritual which was sacrosanct with the x and y generation is slowly being taken over. Yes you guessed it right, our daily ritual of browsing through the morning newspaper while having our favorite cups has been steadily replaced by messages on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. We are now more used to browsing our mobile phones or social media sites to get all the latest updates rather than turning to page 3 or 8. Well, each medium has its unique advantages and patrons.

We spent some time trying to understand the Pros and Cons of Print Media vis-à-vis the digital media and we came out with the below observations, this is not an exhaustive list though.

One of the greatest advantages of print media is that it’s tangible. We can actually touch and smell it which gives a sense of comfort to us. Moreover, studies show that our brain can retain more through physical contact than any other forms of imagery.

So leafing through the pages, highlighting and writing down notes adds to the retention power of our grey matter vis-à-vis using the mouse pointer. Another advantage of print media is once we buy a magazine or journal we own it for the rest of the life. We can leaf through it whenever we feel like. The human desire of control and ownership kicks in, though in small doses.

Print media has its share of disadvantages too. It fails to give the pleasure that we get from instant features, infographics and interactive videos. Another serious limitation is its inability to get instant feedback from the viewers. Moreover, the cost associated with material cost, printing, publishing and circulating is huge not to mention the environmental concerns because of paper and the ink being used.

Digital Media on the other hand as its uniqueness in being interactive; we, the viewers, can give our feedback immediately. It also gives us opportunity of social sharing with our friends, family and the like-minded individuals. Naturally, the reader engagement is at a much higher level.

It’s fast, easy and interactive with scope to optimize the products and content. Tracking and Analytics tools like Google Analytics gives valuable feedback such as which articles have got maximum viewership, their geographical location, time they spent on the page etc.

One must be wondering that with numerous advantages what would be the limiting factor for digital? Well, one of the biggest disadvantages is obviously online plagiarism. It’s a serious offence but there is very less being done to stop it.

Digital publishers have to protect all their publications be it content, articles, photos, videos anything and everything that can be copied or reproduced. Another limitation is it fails to hold the attention of the viewers for a long span of time. Viewers are easily distracted and so digital publishers have to work extra hard to grab their attention and retain their viewer on their sites.

Which is better?

Clearly, one fails where the other wins. So, it’s wiser to mix both in the right proportion to get the best out of your readership. One needs to choose the right media depending on one’s needs and requirements:

• Type of business: You can decide your strategy depending on the type of business. For instance, if you have small and medium scale business catering to a local area, then you may save large cost overtures with a combination of low cost digital media and localized print distribution.

• Customer Type: You need to know your customer base. You have to find out where they spend more time?

• Opportunity Cost: You need to find out the opportunity cost. It’s the cost of the alternative that needs to be foregone to pursue certain action.

In fact, in the longer run it might not be print-only or digital-only marketplace, your presence might be required as a hybrid consumer or provider. The larger consumer will decide what will be the next iteration with the only constant being change, as usual.

Why Should We Ensure Net Neutrality in Cyber World?

Introduction

Till a few days ago, there has not been a single case reported on the discrimination or differential charging on the service given out to different people. Hence, the cyber space in India was reflecting the working of true democracy. On a fine day, then suddenly came the report on telecom operators like AirTel and Vodofone charging extra levy on voice calls from its networks using some of the common communication applications like WhatsApp, Skype, etc. Only these telecom operators charged for their services. All other service providers remained net neutral. What came as the surprise to the people was the way Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) formulated certain rules. These newly coined rules clearly aim to help certain telecom operators in India. If implemented in the current form, it would lead to the selective serving of contents in the cyber world.

Net Neutrality

There is an unwritten rule that people using cyber resources have followed to assure equal opportunities for all, irrespective of origin, caste or financial status. This principle states that the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Government agencies should treat all the data on the Internet equally without charging or discriminating people based on users, sites, contents, platforms, types of equipment or applications. This term was first coined by Columbia University Professor Tim Wu. He formed this principle to augment the common belief that Internet is a common carrier that binds everybody in this world.

Issue of Net Neutrality

The whole issue of net neutrality came out in the public domain when mobile operators like AirTel and Vodofone tried to charge their subscribers who started to use calling apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, etc. to contact people using their Internet network. To milk the existing customers, these telecom operators started to levy extra charges on calls made. As expected, there was a hue and cry from people who wanted to keep this medium free of such distortions. Everything seemed to have died down for a while. Again the issue started cropping up when the TRAI released a formal consultation paper on Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services. Through this paper, the telecom ombudsman sought to get suggestions from the public. The analysts in the field tried to highlight the one-sided approach taken by the ombudsman through this consultative paper. They also highlighted the confusing statements that could in future be misinterpreted by the telecom operators to fleece the ordinary citizens in the cyber world. This would lead in the long run to the killing of creativity and the airing of independent views in the cyber world. If the power is given to the telecom operators, they can selectively offer services to people, favouring somebody who pays for them.

Widespread Condemnations

This consultative paper drew condemnation from all around the country. This time around even the politicians joined hands with hapless citizens in condemning the telecom ombudsman for bringing out with such a vague and watered down the paper on Regulatory Framework for OTT. They alleged that the TRAI is trying to help some telecom operators who have started levying additional cost on VOIP services given through their network. To channel the call data into a funnel, they even made separate data packages. This forced the netizens to speak out openly against this move in the social media network. Adding to the fire, the TRAI Chairman told the media that there was no rule in our country to dissuade the telecom operators from charging for the call through the Internet. Instead of framing the rule to assure the net neutrality, the TRAI Chairman tried to take sides with the telecom operators like AirTel and Vodofone. This is the time for all of us to come in unison to fight for our rights and freedom in the cyber world.