I read a blog post by David Pogue the other day about the “other folder” on Facebook. It is the hidden folder where messages from those not in your Friends network go. Pogue’s follow-on blog post talked about people’s responses to what they found in that “other” folder. Some sad news, long lost friends trying to reconnect and even job interviews.
Pogue did us all a service in pointing out this “other folder”. It is not obvious on Facebook it’s self. By catching messages from those not in our network it serves as a bit of a spam filter. But if Facebook does not make it obvious to us, the end user, that it is there, is this “other folder” really serving us? Is Facebook serving us?
I digress. Pogue’s article made it clear, at least in my mind, that Facebook and other social media is for sharing and not meant for important communication, especially that of a sensitive, urgent or personal nature. Everything has it’s place. Older generations do not always see the value in social media for reach in product and idea marketing, customer service or even just staying in touch with family and friends all over the globe. The younger generation often neglect email because everyone in their immediate social circle is on social media or at least a mobile device with texting abilities. This can lead to a false assumption that social media is the main mode of communication for all.
For major business communications email is still the more secure, private and versatile tool. Email should be:
– checked at least twice a day with the intent of responding to the urgent emails within 24 hours.
– setup with automated folders specified by the user that sort incoming mail by sender or subject matter. This will help with scanning through incoming mail for urgent messages, both business and personal.
– used for sending important messages like job offers, college acceptance (or rejections), business proposals and any other personal communication meant for a small, private audience.
Social Media is a great tool for alerting customers to new products, receiving customer feedback, providing useful tips and information in your area of expertise and sharing inspiration. I have seen social media be used as a virtual yearbook for classmates to reminisce about a different place and time, a debate platform for current events and a basic news feed (as originally intended) of events and thoughts of the day. It is a different kind of communication from email. It is a richer, more versatile form of mass communication than email.
Everything has it’s place and no one thing can be everything to everyone…no matter how well it is marketed.
Copyright 2013 Digital Design Digest