Last week I posted that I thought Facebook was heading toward being the new telephone. Social media is now the ‘party line’ platform where people are congregating both personally and professionally. In the last few weeks I have received many LinkedIn invitations which makes me think that the business side of social networking is becoming a mainstream channel and is still maturing.
What I am finding is that in both my personal and business life the telephone is being used less frequently than ever. I don’t know about you, but contacting people by telephone (in business) has become increasingly difficult. In fact I know a number of people that intentionally leave their voice mailbox full so they don’t get any additional messages. This is particularly true if these people have any buying responsibility as they are often assaulted with constant phone calls by salespeople.
On some occasions I send a business contact an SMS message on their mobile to try to get their attention. This is because sending them emails appears to get lost in a sea of hundreds of emails they (and I) receive daily. Sending SMS messages is not always possible as I don’t always have a mobile phone number for a business contact. And I am noticing that response to SMS messages is declining rapidly as well.
I am also LinkedIn with a large number of my business contacts. But I find sending a LinkedIn message can be no more effective in generating a reply than sending an email. And while I am not connected on Facebook to any substantial number of my business contacts, (I had the idea of trying to keep business and personal contacts separate but it’s a losing battle), when I send people messages on Facebook I am surprised at the rapidity in receiving a reply.
So what I have learned is, if I cannot get you to reply to a phone call, email, or SMS message because you are too busy, I can send you a Facebook message and it appears I have the best chance of receiving a timely reply. What does this mean? To me it means that accepted entry into one’s Facebook circle warrants a reply over just about any other channel. The trust factor compels people to respond.
I wonder how long that will last.