It is unmistakable that social media platforms such Facebook and Twitter have changed the way we all communicate online. However, there are many reasons that social media platforms will never fully replace email within the working environment. 

social media can't replace email

Why choose email over social media?

  • In regards to the business environment, email provides a level of privacy and professionalism that is not present when using social media platforms. When communicating with a client using email you don’t have to be friends with them and the only information they know about you is what you want to share with them. Within the workplace you don’t want to be distracted with a clients opinion of Saturdays big match. 
  • When email inboxes are efficiently managed using filters and auto rules they provide a one stop hub for tasks and one to one communications. The inbox acts as an electronic “go to folder” that enables the management of tasks and meetings. 
  • You don’t have to worry about privacy issues with email the same way you do with social media. If you send message to a colleague only they can see it as default, with social media it’s the other way around, everything is public. This can cause major issues for businesses that have sensitive information. 
  • Email works across all platforms and applications. With social media you can’t communicate between networks while with email whatever client, server or product you use you can send and receive emails without a problem.
  • Email has become more than just two way communication tool. A valid email address is just as essential as a passport or driving license. If you want to signup for any online service or product you need a valid email address to authenticate who you are. Social media’s lack of standardisation makes this an inappropriate tool. 
  • Social media does not provide a professional online space for business one to ones. For example, if you are arranging an important meeting with a client, a LinkedIn event would not be the appropriate method of invite. 
  • Social media has a major issue with ownership, even after deleting your LinkedIn account the information still exists on their server and has probably been cloned and copied across the web. For companies that host their own email server the data belongs to them. 

Social media maybe becoming one of most common ways we choose to communicate but Email is still required and will continue to be used as it provides users with their own communication hub where they manage communications in one place. Email also gives users a level of privacy that social media platforms do not offer at present. Products such as Yammer are bringing social media into the workplace but it still needs to be controlled and monitored ensuring that a companies public image is not tarnished.