You’ve likely heard the jokes about miscommunication via online methods – whether it’s email, social media messages or chatting online. The reason is that text communication is missing the verbal body language cues that in-person communication affords.
Interactive technology can often be deficient in allowing communication to occur without misunderstandings. But, you can end those problems by understanding what your virtual body language is telling your customers, and learn how to fix it when needed.
Proper Use of Emojis
Today, even if it feels silly at first, it’s important to use smiley faces, frowns and so forth to help you get your point across. People tend to read tone into messages without knowing the tone that you really meant. If you’re sure how you’re coming across to your audience, conduct a survey and ask them, or ask trusted friends to read over a few of your messages to see what they think.
Your Profile Image
Does your profile image or other images of you represent the type of personality you want people to see in you? If you’re not showing your face, or have dark pictures, people will see your personality differently than if you have images that show your smiling face and your eyes.
Using the Right Terms
One way to expand your virtual body language is to use the right words. You may need to use more flowery language than you would in person to help draw a picture of your words in the minds of the reader. This can help tell your story in a better way so that there is no room for misinterpretation.
Now that the technology is nearly ubiquitous, it’s time to bring video into your communication with your audience. This is going to help them look into your eyes, see your expresses and learn more about you. However, remember that even with video there still are missing components to the communication puzzle that you would have in person.
Go Live and In Person
The fact is, nothing can change the fact that full communication can really only happen in person. If you really want to take your online persona to the next level, take it offline. Start going to and participating in live in-person events and your fans will start understanding you better than ever before – even when you’re back online.
Accept the Differences
Remember that online communication via technology does suffer from lack of information, whether unconsciously or consciously received. This applies to video, simulated in games with avatars, text such as with chat and email, or even over the phone.
Most of us are very dependent on the myriad of social signals that are communicated mostly unconsciously to each other in person. We try to take that online and often are abject failures at it because we want it to be the same. But, it’s not the same, so we need to go further and try harder to be expressive in a way that gets our point across and lets our clients know who we really are.