I’m breaking through my “Ok Boomer” limitation on digital channels and I don’t really know where it’s going to take me. For the past couple of years I’ve had three digital channels of note:

  • LinkedIn
    To share daily items of note on work type stuff, and to get into conversations on CX and to promote myself and RingCentral.
  • Twitter
    Because it’s Twitter and I can get 7,000 people looking at something I send out if I can get the right couple of people to retweet what I’ve posted, and because you see the stupidest stuff in the world there.
  • Facebook
    Because I’m really old and I can find high school friends and the like there to reminisce with.

I’ve been happily living that way for quite some time. Occasional forays into Snapchat and other channels were disastrous and I quickly rolled back to my regular few.

But the times they are a changin’…  (Ok, Millennial, I dare you to get that reference). Over the past month or so I have tripled my digital footprint. I am now on the following new channels for the following reasons:

  • Instagram
    Yeah, I know I really am a luddite to hold out so long on that one. My son is releasing an EP of his music and he’s going to use Instagram as his release medium so I damn well better be there.
  • WhatsApp
    A coworker just had a baby and he’s avoiding the standard work channels so he can actually bond with his son instead of getting sucked into work dialogs. He’d love to update me on his new life as a father and share pics of the baby, all I have to do is join WhatsApp.
  • Clubhouse
    A friend wanted to experiment with it and we thought we might be able to drive some attendance to our podcasts and hey, who knows, maybe it will be fun.

No TikTok yet — although lots of arguments for why I need to join there as well.

So why am I telling you this anecdote about my social media presence in a RingCentral blog?  There is some relevance here, hang with me for a moment.

If I’m a company and I want to reach Max Ball, it’s been pretty straightforward over the past couple of years, three primary social channels, slightly different usage but same person. I will most certainly reach out to companies on Twitter so I could expect them to respond to me with service on that channel but not much of anywhere else.

But now what, how best to reach me? I don’t even know how big I’ll grow my social media presence. And I’m not alone in this. I may be slower to adopt some channels than most of you reading this (and by the way I still read a physical newspaper every morning), I have moved onto the internal combustion engine and retired the horse and buggy a while ago. But when we talk about channel preference we have to be clear how fluid this is.

There is a good chance that a month from now where I spend my digital time will be radically different from where it is today. There is a very real possibility that when I need help communicating with a company that I will want to use WhatsApp going forward, or one of the many other social media platforms I’ve yet to discover and join.

All of this is a long way of saying, if you want to meet your customers where they are on their channel of choice you need to really be flexible and ready to meet them in a variety of places.

Even in my recent past how I would reach out could vary a great deal. If I’m driving I’m going to call, if I’m on your website I’m going to chat, if I’m feeling feisty and what to muck things up a bit I’m going to complain to my vast array of 2,900 Twitter followers! (Ok, no one is shaking in their boots over that, but I’m working on it).

The key is flexibility, you need to be able to meet your customers where they are and you need to understand that there is nothing static about where they’re spending their time today and where they’ll be in the future.

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