E-mail and Social Media
For Jones, the answer to the question “Is e-mail dead?â€ is an unqualified “no.â€ But she likens the current engagement with e-mail to watching silent films: “It’s a cold, impersonal experience that lacks emotion. But adding the power of audio and video to e-mail provides the natural ability to capture attention and inspire calls to action. We live in a world of personalization all around us and should expect nothing less from our e-mail communications.â€
In a blog post, “Is Social Media Impacting How Much We E-mail?â€ nielsenwire’s Jon Gibs, vice president of media analytics, showed that, based on the results of a small Nielsen experiment, “social media use makes people consume e-mail more, not less, as [Nielsen] had originally assumed.â€
This makes sense, says Jones. Like Apptix’s Bond, Jones sees promise in tools such as Google Buzz and believes EyeMail would integrate perfectly with a variety of social media platforms. “This would enable social media users to send enhanced, personalized audio and video messaging via the EyeMail platform, without the recipient having to click a URL to view content via e-mail,â€ she says.
Bond agrees that e-mail and social media tools can be complementary, but he has some reservations. Certain tools as they currently exist are simply not suited to a corporate platform, he says. “Most businesses don’t accept IM as a business solution. You can’t always audit and track it. From a corporation’s viewpoint, people still assume you’re talking to friends and family and not working.â€ Still, employee use of such applications has spurred companies to find ways to integrate some tools into the existing infrastructure while maintaining control and addressing compliance concerns.
Is e-mail dead? Far from it. But like an aging rock star who recognizes that he must adapt to remain relevant, e-mail, too, is changing–with a little help from its social media friends.
This article originally appeared in the April 2010 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.