The public in social media and enterprise social media gets all the attention. However often the greatest connection goes on out of view.

With social media channels inside and outside organisations comes the direct message and the private message. These are key parts of the value created by a network.

Private messages are the communication channels that are most comfortable for many users. These messages don’t offer the value of full working out loud but they can play key roles:

– creating access
– building and deepening relationships begun in public
– exchanging confidential information or additional context
– coaching users
– helping connect community management and community leaders.

In the passion of adopting new public ways of working, we cannot overlook the value of integrated private messages. After all some times the first step to working out loud is sharing something with just one other person.

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