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Is the end of email nigh? Social media takes the stage

14 Dec 2015 - Blog

Is the end of email nigh?
Social media takes the stage

How many emails do you get a day? 50? 100? 200 maybe? How many of them contain valuable information? Half? A third? 10%? It’s likely that much of the daily information that you receive is either not relevant to your work, or is too long winded or badly communicated to give you the information you really need.

Enter social media. The beauty of social media platforms is that people can have numerous conversations at once and they can dip into conversations whenever they have something of value to say or hear something that will benefit them, and can stop engaging if the conversation is irrelevant to their work. Social media allows communication to be more open and collaborative, and perhaps it makes for a more engaging platform than the tyranny of corporate email” BBC Business News.

 

Benefits

Innovation hotbeds

Social media platforms are hotbeds for innovation. Employers realise that golden nuggets of knowledge can come from various parts of the organisation and be an array of insights that others may not have considered. Creativity comes from throughout the organisation, not just the top or from departmental expertise.

Empowered employees

Using social media and other collaborative platforms enables ideas to be shared, discussed and enhanced. Although we could bring people together to talk in person, social media allows those ‘get-togethers’ to be larger and global and, therefore, more diverse in nature. The rise in such platforms is a reflection of the increasingly empowered employee.

“Communications [are] more natural and conversational.” BBC Business News

No need to train

Social media is widespread in Internet use, and it’s on the rise. The extensive use outside of the workplace means there is only a slight, if any, learning curve when bringing social media into organisations. The result is training costs are kept to a minimum.

Not reinventing the wheel

Sharing platforms help us to gain a system-wide view of what is going on across the organisation. They facilitate companies in creating communities of practice and, therefore, help to prevent siloed parts of the organisation from reinventing the wheel.

 

Potential pitfalls

Lost something?

How many times have you scrawled a social media page looking for that Tweet that someone posted last week, or the article on Facebook that you wanted to read but couldn’t fit in at that moment?

The essence of social media is that it provides short bursts of information that are relevant while they are being discussed but then get lost in data history when they are not needed. For social media to be a key player in building organisations, do we need an intelligent storing / sorting mechanism for social conversations?

Is it too public?

Some information needs to be kept confidential and, therefore, if there is a need to share data with only one or two individuals it may be more appropriate to use a more secure platform. For this reason, social media will only take over some types of communications.

“Whether the message is private or intended to be disseminated widely, personal or professional, urgent or trivial, email works.” Hootsuite

By sharing lots of information across various parts of the organisation, it becomes difficult to know who has access to what. Also, because data can be accessed from mobile devices, it could be shared with unknown external networks. How secure is your company data?

 

 

Final thoughts

We don’t think your office is about to dispel with email, but there is a change in how employees communicate with each other and that change has called for more collaborative, more efficient and more engaging tools. Social media looks like it’s here to stay, but currently, its presence is as a trusted partner to email, not a replacement.

What do you think? Will social media platforms replace email in the future? Is it the right way to go? What is your experience of social media at work? Share your views; we’d love to hear them!

 

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