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Business Social or Social Business?

The business ‘code of conduct’, especially within the UK, is incredibly formal. There is a manner to address people, within meetings, over telephone, and when writing emails. Many of us re-write our emails over and over again and even get them double checked by colleagues.  However, is our global social interface changing the way we interact with one another and communicate with our business colleagues?

Social networks have changed the way we communicate in our personal lives. Staying in touch with friends on the other side of the world is far easier now than it was a decade ago. Facebook especially has given us the ability to communicate easily and effectively across the world. Twitter has changed the length of communication as well; quick, short updates are popular amongst a variety of ages. This brief style was born from text messaging, now the most popular way of communicating according to Ofcom’s ninth annual Communications Market report.

Social media has clearly changed the way we communicate, and has been integrated into many business marketing strategies, but has it been adopted as an internal communication tool? Should it be, or will this degrade the business etiquette that our industries have become so accustomed to?  

When on the move, many of us fire off short concise emails to stay connected and part of the conversation. How many times have you sent something to someone by mistake, or re-read the email you just sent and noticed at least three grammatical errors. As a society, are we still precious about the way we are perceived through our writing abilities? The next generation, the children who are brought up with text messaging, Facebook and Twitter as their methods of communication will lack in these common business manners. Should the business industry change and adapt to the new ‘language’? Does your business use social media to communicate with your colleagues on a professional level or purely a social approach?

Cyance have a Facebook and Twitter account, but Facebook is used to interact with staff and their families and Twitter is to communicate our company news, updates and event information to clients and partners. E-mails are still widely used throughout the company as the primary communication tool. However, this is all changing. We are implementing a new CRM software called Autotask. This has the ability to change the way we manage our campaigns more effectively and keeps all our team members up-to-date with any changes made to the project. The new interface uses a similar dashboard to Twitter and Facebook. Instant messaging or message hub are used within the Autotask software to allow co-workers access to instant updates on their latest projects.

Ask yourself this, when was the last time you received a formal letter? Do you cringe when you look at your inbox? Or jump when your phone vibrates with yet another new message? How would you prefer to receive updates, is it on Facebook style wall, instant messages or stick with the traditional email?

These questions can be answered easily, but making these changes aren’t, and in another decade these communication methods will likely change again. So do you keep up with the trends, or just stick with what you know?