Does Urgency Matter More in Email Than in Social Media?

Consumers Feel the Need to Respond to Emails Quickly

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Flock, creator of the social web browser, sent WebProNews some interesting findings about the social media habits of consumers. One finding we found particularly interesting was that based on responses to a survey from the company, 74% say they feel pressure to respond to emails within a day, while only 52% feel the same about Facebook postings. Even more interesting is that only 26% feel that way about responding to personal tweets on Twitter. 

Why do you think people place such a lesser amount of emphasis on timeliness when it comes to Twitter? Share your thoughts here

Here are the findings the company shared:

– 93% feel their relationships with others have stayed the same or improved because of their interaction with friends and family through social media.

– The majority of respondents feel pressure to "keep up" with their online communications, particularly with email where 74% stated they should respond that day while 52% felt the need to reply immediately to Facebook postings. Surprisingly, only 26% saw any need to reply to personal tweets on Twitter.

Twitter Messages Aren't treated with the same urgency as email or Facebook

 – 64% of respondents feel stressed at some point to keep up with online social media

– 60% said they do most of their communicating on social sites from their home while just 17% accessed social media at work. Teachers do not have to worry as only 2% said they tweet or post from school.

– 89% have signed up to one-ten social networks/apps with 11% interacting with more than ten.

– 28% have over 500 contacts with 31% spending 11-20 hours a week communicating with their friends and family.  9% spend over 60 hours per week on social media.

– 49% of respondents use social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and social applications like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Shopkick (excluding email) to communicate with others more than 50% of their time.

– Social media is on the rise in business with 72% stating that they use it for communications with business contacts.

What you do with this information is up to you, but it’s clear social media is becoming an increasingly popular avenue of communication, not just among consumers, but among businesses (not to mention between consumers and businesses). However, at this point, if you have messages that require timely responses, it’s looking like your best bet is still communicating through email. 

Of course this will certainly depend on the person you’re communicating with. Still, I think it’s safe to say that most people, particularly in business, will still be checking their email fairly regularly. From a business perspective, I’d make a habit out of timely communication no matter what the channel. 

I would suggest putting a little more emphasis on subject lines, whether you’re communicating by email, Facebook, or Twitter. People are more likely to open your message if the subject is enticing and/or relevant to them. If they open, they’re one step closer to responding. 

What is your preferred channel of communication: email, Facebook, or Twitter? Let us know in the comments.

Does Urgency Matter More in Email Than in Social Media?
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  • http://www.seacss.com Kent

    I don’t think like you.

    • Chris Crum

      Is that good or bad? :)

  • http://www.siskiyouwebdesign.com Siskiyou Web Design

    Email is more direct as are Social Media Direct Messages vs. the Social Media Status Post. I myself, treat direct messages with more urgency than the status replies. I really look at that once a day, where as I following both Email and Messages as they come in.

  • sofakingdabest

    Is social media a hobby or part of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

  • Guest

    If consumers generally respond more quickly to email… which when selling online, is pretty much zero response… then I’d hate to see how bad their response is to social media… what’s a percentage ratio less than zero? lol :D

    People are lazy, rude, angry, selfish, busy, whatever the case may be these days, but the days of polite consumer responses to polite seller order confirmation or shipping information emails is over. Too bad, so sad, selling online used to be so much fun.

    • Chris Crum

      Maybe it’s time for a new strategy.

      • Guest

        It’s time for a new job… lol :D

        C’mon spring! When my new job starts! :D

        I started on eb@y 13 years ago (have since left there and moved to other venues), when things were warm, fuzzy and fun throughout the entire transaction… every new customer, became a new friend… as a seller you can only be so professional (ie: TY email for the purchase, followed later that day by their item’s shipping notice w/tracking, etc), before you’re reported as spam now… crazy!

        Try and be polite, friendly, informative, communicative, professional and respectful — the way we’d all expect and deserve to be treated — and you’re either ignored or blacklisted, when it was they who sought out your item in the first place… if you don’t respond at all to their purchase, just send the item like a robot, then they think you’re being rude… really, it’s so *not* fun anymore.

        • Chris Crum

          Newsletters can work well. Just like with anything else, content can go a long way. So can a subject line.

  • http://www.hot.com.au/ Luis Garcia

    “Teachers do not have to worry as only 2% said they tweet or post from school.”

    This actually made me LOL. 2% admit that they tweet or post from school – I wonder how many actually do that.

  • yoursurprise-bellatio-3

    Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Cheers

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