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Social Media & Intercultural Competence

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Reka Anna Lassu

on 25 March 2015

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Transcript of Social Media & Intercultural Competence

Social Media
& Cultural Competence

Instructor: Reka Anna Lassu
Course: BADM 300: Communication in Business
California State University, Chico- College of Business

is social media relevant for business?

Current Age
How can I improve my communication with people from different cultures?
Part 2: Delivering Effective Messages
High Context vs. Low Context
Build a customer community (PatientsLikeMe)
Interact with customers and gather feedback (Mountain Dew)
Put a personal face on a business (Old Spice- Isaiah Mustafa)
Educate (ex: inspire health behavior change)
Invite participation (Evian)
Spread ideas (TED)
Direct vs. indirect
You perspective
Routine messages
Persuasive messages (logic)
Bad news buffers
Intercultural Competence
– the attitudes and behaviors that characterize a group of people

Prepare to communicate with people from different cultures by:

1. understanding the key ways that cultures differ

2. developing strategies that make communicating with different groups easier

High Context vs. Low Context
Individualism vs. Collectivism
Power Distance
Uncertainty Orientation
Time Orientation
What are you trying to avoid by understanding culture?
Ethnocentrism & stereotypes
Individualism vs. Collectivism
Individualist culture
– values an individual’s achievement, satisfaction, and independent thinking

Collectivist culture –
puts the good of the group before people’s individual interests
Power Distance
Power distance
–how the culture perceives inequality and authority

Organizations in cultures with
high power distance
are: formal, with clear separation between superiors and subordinates

Organizations in cultures with
low power distance
are:more relaxed about titles and status
Uncertainty Avoidance
Uncertainty avoidance
– measure of how comfortable culture is with ambiguity, risk, and change

In cultures comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity:
employees tend to like flexible working environments that allow for risk-taking and entrepreneurial behavior

In cultures uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity:
employees tend to like clear guidelines that lead to predictable results
Time Orientation
Time Orientation
– how a culture approaches time

Monochronic culture –
values punctuality and efficiency

Polychronic culture –
a relaxed attitude toward time and punctuality

2. Develop strategies that make communicating with different groups easier
When in doubt, exhibit formality and respect
Pay attention to nonverbal communication, and mirror when appropriate
Be clear and concise
Avoid idioms – expressions that mean something other than the literal meaning
Avoid jargon – specialized language of specific fields
Talk slowly
Request feedback to ensure understanding
How do you think living in these 2 cultures would be different?

In terms of:
High Context vs. Low Context
Individualism vs. Collectivism
Power Distance
Uncertainty Orientation
Time Orientation
Social Media can be an asset for business:
Social media has completely changed the landscape of communication:

Web 2.0 technologies set the stage for participation and openness (O’Reilly, 2005).

Social media is both a broadcasting platform and a new way of interacting (Schein, Wilson & Keelan 2010).
social media can help
amplify messages
from the more traditional sources such as radio, television, or regularly printed media

at the same time, social media can also add a whole new way of use which is achieved through
co-creating content
Social Presence Theory
classifies media in the different degrees of the acoustic, visual, and physical contact that they allow for between two individuals who wish to communicate with each other (Short, Williams, & Christie, 1976).
Media Richness Theory
proposes that communication’s aim is to resolve ambiguity and reduce uncertainty. Different types of media have various degrees of ability to transmit information during a specific time period. For this reason, some media are better able to serve the aim of resolving ambiguity and reducing uncertainty.
The last category is
. It is the notion that in a human interaction, individuals wish to control the impression that they have on others since they would like a positive outcome as well as to stay consistent with their identity (Goffman, 1959).
Business Application
Consumers are now
active participants by creating, seeking, and sharing
a multitude of information by using a variety of channels and methods.

The consumer still receives vertical, expert-generated messages, but they also engage in bottom-up and horizontal communication when they engage in user generated messages, information seeking, and information sharing with other consumers.
Remember: social media is NOT only relevant for companies wanting to sell products.
Example: education in the medical field
Example: The Egyptian Revolution 2011
1. Understand the key ways that cultures differ:
Intercultural Competence
Intercultural competence is vital in a globalized world! You will have to interact with people from many nationalities which will require more than just a mere awareness of culture!
CQ Drive, knowledge, strategy, action
What is normal for you, might not be normal for someone from a different culture.
What distinguishes people who are able to work well with a multicultural team from those who aren't able to?

Social media has completely changed the communication landscape. Furthermore, we are living in a globalized world where communication is not the same across cultures.

It is important to understand the magnitude of social media, as a whole new way of interaction.

In order to be successful in a globalized setting, you must have cultural intelligence!
OʼReilly, T. (2005). What Is Web 2.0? Design Patterns And Business Models For The Next Network Generation Of Software. O’Reilly Media Inc. Retrieved from http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html

Schein, R., Wilson, K., & Keelan, J. (2010). LITERATURE REVIEW ON EFFECTIVENESS OF THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA A REPORT FOR PEEL PUBLIC HEALTH. Challenges, 129(1), 63. Retrieved from http://www.peelregion.ca/health/resources/pdf/socialmedia.pdf

Thackeray, R., & Neiger, B. L. (2009). A multidirectional communication model: implications for social marketing practice. Health Promotion Practice, 10(2), 171-175. Retrieved from http://hpp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/10/2/171
Short, J., Williams, E., & Christie, B. (1976). The social psychology of telecommunications. Contemporary Sociology (Vol. 7, p. 32). Wiley. Retrieved from http://permalink.obvsg.at/AC02618172
Goffman, E. (1959). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. (E. University Of, Ed.)Teacher (Vol. 21, p. 259). Doubleday.
Schein, R., Wilson, K., & Keelan, J. (2010). LITERATURE REVIEW ON EFFECTIVENESS OF THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA A REPORT FOR PEEL PUBLIC HEALTH. Challenges, 129(1), 63. Retrieved from http://www.peelregion.ca/health/resources/pdf/socialmedia.pdf
Communication Landscape
Evian- ‘Roller Babies’

Launched in July 2009 as part of it’s ‘Live Young’ campaign; instantly gained success.
The video notched up 27,000,000 views on the official YouTube video, and an estimated 61,000,000 views across the web in total, making it the most popular online advertisement ever.
What Evian are most proud of though, is the videos ability to
inspire conversation
– research shows that over 80% of people who watched the clip in either France or America considered discussing it, and over 65% wanted to share it.
VW Fun Theory

66% of people opted to use the stairs
What to do today:

Create a Linkedin page
Check privacy settings on Facebook
search "best practices"
search social media campaigns
What can you do today?

be more self aware
be observant
take a language class
go to cultural events
Living in two distinct cultures:
how is it different?
What other aspect of "culture"
is important in business?
What is employee engagement?

work environment
support development
social interactions
Why does employee engagement matter?

4 out of 10 workers are disengaged globally

70 percent of U.S. workers don’t like their job

engaged employees are likely to be motivated, to remain committed to their employer and to stay focused on achieving business goals and driving the organization’s future.

Forbes: How the Best Places to Work are Nailing Employee Engagement
Old Spice- body wash

More people watched its videos in 24 hours than those who watched Obama’s presidential victory speech
Total video views reached 40,000,000 in a week
Campaign impressions: 1,400,000,000
Since the campaign launched, Old Spice body wash sales are up 27%; in the last three months up 55%; and in the last month up 107%
A culture is the values and practices shared by the members of the group.

Company Culture , therefore, is the shared values and practices of the company's employees.
Company culture is important because it can make or break your company.

Companies with an adaptive culture that is aligned to their business goals routinely outperform their competitors.

Some studies report the difference at 200% or more. To achieve results like this for your organization, you have to figure out what your culture is, decide what it should be, and move everyone toward the desired culture.
Step 1: Employee Engagement
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