Social Media Can't Replace Email

Jonathan Bennett
Jonathan Bennett Marketing Manager, Yolk Recruitment

Posted on February 11th 2013

Social Media Can't Replace Email

It is unmistakable that social media platforms such Facebook and Twitter have changed the way we all communicate online. However, there are many reasons that social media platforms will never fully replace email within the working environment. 

social media can't replace email

Why choose email over social media?

  • In regards to the business environment, email provides a level of privacy and professionalism that is not present when using social media platforms. When communicating with a client using email you don’t have to be friends with them and the only information they know about you is what you want to share with them. Within the workplace you don’t want to be distracted with a clients opinion of Saturdays big match. 
  • When email inboxes are efficiently managed using filters and auto rules they provide a one stop hub for tasks and one to one communications. The inbox acts as an electronic “go to folder” that enables the management of tasks and meetings. 
  • You don’t have to worry about privacy issues with email the same way you do with social media. If you send message to a colleague only they can see it as default, with social media it’s the other way around, everything is public. This can cause major issues for businesses that have sensitive information. 
  • Email works across all platforms and applications. With social media you can’t communicate between networks while with email whatever client, server or product you use you can send and receive emails without a problem.
  • Email has become more than just two way communication tool. A valid email address is just as essential as a passport or driving license. If you want to signup for any online service or product you need a valid email address to authenticate who you are. Social media’s lack of standardisation makes this an inappropriate tool. 
  • Social media does not provide a professional online space for business one to ones. For example, if you are arranging an important meeting with a client, a LinkedIn event would not be the appropriate method of invite. 
  • Social media has a major issue with ownership, even after deleting your LinkedIn account the information still exists on their server and has probably been cloned and copied across the web. For companies that host their own email server the data belongs to them. 

Social media maybe becoming one of most common ways we choose to communicate but Email is still required and will continue to be used as it provides users with their own communication hub where they manage communications in one place. Email also gives users a level of privacy that social media platforms do not offer at present. Products such as Yammer are bringing social media into the workplace but it still needs to be controlled and monitored ensuring that a companies public image is not tarnished. 

Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett

Marketing Manager, Yolk Recruitment

Jonathan Bennett is the online marketing manager for Yolk Recruitment a specialist marketing recruitment agency. Learning something new everyday about social media and B2B marketing.

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Comments

chatmeter
Posted on February 11th 2013 at 7:50PM

I agree, I dont think that email will ever go away. I think there is a time and place to use either social media vs. email. Privacy is going to be the number one reason for that. And you are right on about the professionalism. I think I am more likely to take a email more serously, rather than a message from Facebook. 

Jonathan Bennett
Posted on February 12th 2013 at 8:53AM

I agree Stephen, I have been approached by potential suppliers via Facebook and it's a little odd. LinkedIn obviously has the greatest potential but in my opinion still isn't a fully functional social network.

jonniedoe2013
Posted on February 11th 2013 at 9:29PM

While I believe sites such as Facebook and Twiiter may never replace email, I think it is possible that companies my eventually use a internal social media platform.  Such a thing can have a more professional focus such as LinkedIn  but only be aviable to those within the company.  If the platform integrated an message option like the one Facebook has, then it could end the need to send basic emails.

Jonathan Bennett
Posted on February 12th 2013 at 8:48AM

Totally agree internal email might start to faze out. There are alreadyinternal social media platforms such as Yammer but I believe it's the likes of Chatter by salesforce that integrates with your CRM which will become popular. Internally you need to try and reduce the amount of systems you use and as everyone uses CRMs it seems like the obvious choice.

Kevin Gunn
Posted on February 12th 2013 at 9:45PM

The key is the flexibility to communicate with people outside your social network.  Something that's frequently required in the business world.  Requiring someone to join a social network to exchange messages with you is a barrier.  It's a very real barrier if your social network is completely internal to your company.  That said, there is a lot of value to social networking tools (as other commenters have pointed out) that cannot be ignored.

Kent Ong
Posted on February 13th 2013 at 6:16AM

Hi Jonathan, I agree with your blog post. Email is still a very effective way to communicate. This is especially true when comes to B2B business.

Jonathan Bennett
Posted on February 13th 2013 at 8:38AM

Hi Kent. I sitll don't think there's a social alternative for B2B business, LinkedIn is to recruitment focussed.

Kent Ong
Posted on February 13th 2013 at 9:00AM

Hi Jonathan. Whether LinkedIn is recruitment focussed or not, it depends on how we use it. My sales record on LinkedIn is 4 sales in 5 days.

I treat LinkedIn as business networking platform to build relationship.

LinkedIn is for recruiting is a myth.