Though social networking has surpassed email as a preferred means of communication according to Morgan Stanley, email remains beneficial for business. This is due in part to the fact that email usage has remained stable throughout the early 21st century, according to the Morgan Stanley financial advising company. It's also due to the fact that email remains one of the most efficient means of business communication.
To send an email, you simply enter the recipient's email address in the "To:" field, fill the "Subject:" line, enter a message body, and click "Send." Your business associate or client receives your email immediately whether he's at his office desktop, his laptop or his web-enabled cell phone. Not only is this quicker than postal mail and faxing, it eliminates the formality of a phone call. You don't have to call a person to find out where he is before you relay your information, and he can reply to you at his convenience. The lack of "phone tag" makes the difference between finishing a project now and falling behind schedule.
Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are more popular than email, but many of your business contacts still use email as a primary means of communication. In fact, it's safe to assume someone has an email address since you must have one to open an account on a social networking site. More people use the Internet to shop, entertain themselves, bank, pay bills and make phone calls than ever before, and since these services require email accounts, your business should follow suit.
Email still has one major advantage over popular social networking sites: you can send a message to a group of people without disclosing their identities to one another. Also, because social networking sites require you to search for your business contacts by their email addresses (and sorting by name is inefficient as it returns multiple results), emailing them directly saves time. Ask your associates and clients to opt-in to your mailing list, so you can contact them all efficiently by email.
Email is a paperless way for you to keep recorded accounts of the correspondence between you and your business contacts. Email conversations and the attachments that accompany them take up less space in your email account than they would in paper form in your office filing cabinets. The lack of paper makes email more environment-friendly than fax or postal mail while providing the same record keeping benefits.