Leadership Communication Through Social Media
Communication as an integral part of organizational performance takes different forms. The communication can be top down, bottom to top or horizontal. When the communication takes place from the top down wards, it is referred to as leadership communication. It can take place through the use of different media, one of which is through the social media. The responsibilities of leaders in any organization include making final decisions and determining how things will be accomplished in the organization. This requires passing information by the leaders and reception of the same by the followers (Charles, 2012).
Since verbal and written communication comprise of only 47 percent of all the communication in an organization, it is inevitable that the remaining 53 percent is based on non-verbal forms. The use of technology in work place communication far surpasses face- to- face communications. This is attributed to the possibility of reducing the distance and time effects of communication through social media and the ability to be yourself in social media. The new preference in communication affects organizational performance in various ways.
As in other companies, the Ford Motor company has different operational section under different leaderships (Laskowski, 2013). This makes leadership communication an inevitable part of organizational operations in the company. The use of social media at the Ford Motor Company was initiated through the Fiesta Movement in 2009 which was aimed at marketing for the company. Because of the social media, the company managed to gain a wide market share leading to consideration of social media for other forms of internal and external communication.
Presently, the company has developed a platform for marketing activities to prevent the marketing department from being the major user of the company social media platforms. Ford Company offers a classic example on how companies should use the social media for leadership communication. However, there is still great need for companies to engage in practices that enhance training on effective use of the social media for leadership communication (Deiser & Newton, 2013).
Leadership communication through social media takes different stages. The key factors that have to be accomplished include six dimensional communication aspects, personal analysis and an analysis of the organization. There are several social media tools that can be used by leaders in communication. The use of each of the tools such as twitter, Facebook and others requires effective development of language and communication skills. The ability to craft stories and videos places leaders at a favorable position with regards to social media communication. Since leaders act as the initiators of social media message distribution, they should find ways through which they can make the information viral. This includes an understanding of how to avoid distortion to the messages sent through social media.
While using social media, leaders are the recipients of all information that needs to be disseminated to other organizational members. As such, they should learn to filter information such that only useful information is keep while the remaining information is discarded. In case of ambiguity, leaders should learn to make use of others on social media to decipher meanings. The leaders should also focus on training the rest of the organization members on social media ethics.
While the marketing department at Ford Motors is effectively trained, the rest of the organization departments may not be well versed with the ethical concepts of social media use. After effectively training members on effective social media use for communication, it is important for organizational leaders to facilitate the provision of supportive infrastructures towards the same. The leaders should also act as the analysts for social media use in the organization by keeping up with advancements in social media (Samuel, 2012).
Charles, A. (2012). Social Media: Secret Of The Successful CEO. Retrieved Oct 25, 2013, from Media Post: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/182638/#ixzz2ik0O4DEi
Deiser, R., & Newton, S. (2013). Six social-media skills every leader needs. McKinsey Quarterly , 13 (1), 1-16.
Laskowski, A. (2013). How Ford Became a Leader in Social Media . Retrieved Oct 25, 2013, from Boston University: http://www.bu.edu/today/2013/how-ford-became-a-leader-in-social-media/
Samuel, A. (2012, April 2). Better Leadership through Social Media. Wall Street Journal – Eastern Edition. p. R4.
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