Is it unprofessional to use social media for business correspondence?
I prefer using only emails, conference calls or meetings for formal business correspondence. Even though I’m not an active user of new social media, I see Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other applications as intended for social updates and chatting only. They should not replace the more traditional means for business correspondence.
Often, business correspondence involves a detailed context, referring to previous conversations or seeking action plans and next steps. If someone would like a wellconsidered reply to his request, rather than a few words or a piecemeal answer, he should also send a detailed and comprehensive email, instead of messaging “What do you think of this?” or “Any feedback?”
I frequently find business people or professionals using Whatsapp with very lengthy messages in the hope of getting a more immediate answer, but I personally find it so much more effective setting out the conversation in an email, so that both parties replying can refer to the various rounds of discussions, attachments, charts and numbers in order to respond in a detailed manner.
Chow is a managing partner at MCL Financial Group
Social media in all its forms is a tool for anyone with something to say and wanting to reach a broad audience. It allows information to be disseminated to practically anyone in the world in an instant—a very powerful tool.
Social media platforms host participants in the millions from every corner of the world. If we consider for a second that technology now allows for any and every bit of data to be accessible to anyone and everyone in the world at any time of the day, then it’s logical for the more ambitious to take advantage of this tool to help them get ahead in business.
Whether it’s unprofessional to use it in business correspondence is completely dependent on the individual and the circumstances. In days of yore, if an orator’s discourse was unacceptable, the crowd would pelt them with rotten vegetables—or stones. Today, the audience is still able to give a response—or can simply block any further communication from an unwelcome source.
I don’t believe a person who uses social media for business can be judged as unprofessional. Freedom of speech must be applied across all forms of communication.
Li is the director of Tiberius Productions