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Business Texting Etiquette: Tips and Considerations for Professionals

Professional Business Email Etiquette Tips

Smartphones are now a primary business communication tool. Many probably can’t imagine running a business without one.

However, with that amount of use and dependence come situations and dilemmas that many aren’t sure how to address, some of which are not good for your business. Texting for business is one of those topics.

At the core of any discussion of technology etiquette is the consideration of how one’s actions, or lack thereof, can impact others. Business texting is unique in that it requires prudence, something many don’t consider, and should be used when necessary and appropriate.

While texting can be a convenient communication tool for businesses, it also comes with several downsides:

  • Lack of Formality: Texting is often perceived as less formal compared to email or phone calls. In a business context, this informality can sometimes lead to misunderstandings or misinterpretations of tone and intent.
  • Limited Length: Text messages typically have a character limit, which can make it difficult to convey complex information or detailed instructions effectively. This limitation may result in incomplete communication or the need for multiple messages to convey a single idea.
  • Difficulty in Conveying Tone: Written messages lack the nuances of verbal communication, such as tone of voice and body language. As a result, accurately conveying emotions or intentions through text alone can be challenging, leading to potential miscommunications or conflicts.
  • Potential for Miscommunication: Without the ability to clarify or ask immediate questions, there is a higher risk of miscommunication via text. Messages may be misunderstood, leading to errors, delays, or frustration among team members or clients.
  • Security Concerns: Text messages are vulnerable to interception or hacking, especially if sent over unsecured networks. This poses a risk of exposing sensitive business information or compromising confidentiality.
  • Distractions: Texting can be disruptive, particularly if employees receive frequent notifications or messages throughout the day. Constant interruptions may hinder productivity and focus, especially in environments where concentration is crucial.
  • Lack of Documentation: Unlike emails, text messages may not be as easily archived or searchable, making it challenging to track and document business communications for future reference or legal purposes.
  • Professionalism: Using texting for business communication may not always align with the professional image that a company wants to portray. Clients or partners may perceive excessive or informal texting as unprofessional, potentially damaging relationships or reputations.

Considering these downsides, businesses should carefully assess when and how to use texting as a communication tool. They should ensure that it complements other methods effectively while mitigating potential drawbacks.

Here are some quick business texting guidelines to ensure you are perceived as a credible business professional.

10 Texting Tips for Business

  • Never text business associates, partners, or clients without an invitation or asking permission to do so.
  • Refrain from uninvited texting outside of business hours.
  • Do your very best to avoid acronyms and abbreviations.
  • Texts should not be used as a replacement for more detailed email or phone conversations.
  • Only mass text when all parties have agreed to participate and know each other.
  • When in meetings with business associates (this includes lunch/dinner), refrain from texting to provide your full attention — and respect.
  • Do not relay bad news via text (“Sorry you didn’t get the contract.”).
  • Use texts to change schedules or meeting times/places/dates sparingly. Participants may not read the text in time.
  • When expecting a business text, do your best to respond promptly.
  • Refrain from being a digital stalker by calling, emailing, and texting about the same subject. Unless it is truly urgent, choose the most appropriate mode of communication.

Just because everyone is texting irresponsibly, does that make it tacitly okay for you to do the same? Are you a lemming or a leader?

Think Before Texting

We text because it is easier when, more times than not, a phone call or email would have been more beneficial. Tap, tap, tap, and we get our message out. You have achieved your primary narcissistic goal.

This is not a professional approach to running a successful business, now is it? You know the answer to that question.

While there is a time and place for business texting, it should not be your primary mode of operation. Use discretion and your best judgment when sending texts for business purposes. This will help you be perceived as a true professional.

A professional who exercises discretion (a rare trait nowadays) and is a pleasure to do business with. And that, my friends, is money!

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