Email, voicemail, Facebook, FaceTime, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype—there are hundreds of different channels through which humans can communicate with each other these days. And business owners like myself are using many of them to communicate with clients. But how do you keep track of it all? How do you manage communications with multiple clients taking place across multiple platforms, often at the same time?
I recently asked myself those very questions. You see, 20 years ago, you’d pick up the phone and call your clients. Then in the last decade or so, email became the go-to method of communication. In recent years though, it’s become more and more acceptable to communicate with clients via a text, tweet or Facebook message. Some clients even prefer those methods to traditional means of communication. I have one client, for example, that likes to communicate via email, another that prefers Skype message and yet another who only responds to text messages. And we’re not sharing links to funny cat videos; we’re having real, meaningful business conversations.
At times, it can be daunting to bounce back and forth between different platforms, wondering the right way to contact your client. I’ve found that the trick is to get to know your client’s preferences—find out what kind of message will be received the best. After that, I mentally put my clients into different buckets so I know whether I can text them, send a Facebook message or if they prefer a phone call.
It’s important, though, to set boundaries with clients you connect with through nontraditional channels, particularly those you’re connected with on personal social media accounts. By connecting on social media, you’re opening yourself up to new, sometimes less formal types of conversations and relationships with your clients, which can have both positive and negative side effects. For example, while part of those relationships is making yourself accessible to your clients, you don’t want to be so accessible that they’re sending you Facebook messages about their latest ad campaign at 2 a.m.
So what do you think? Should business owners like me be making ourselves available to clients on whichever platform they prefer to communicate through? How do you manage communicating with clients across multiple platforms? Comment on our Facebook page or tweet us at @Platinum_PR and let us know your tricks and tips!
Photo caption for social convo pic: “A Conversation” by Khalid Albaih is licensed under CC BY 2.0.