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Social media fails to ‘beat email in business communication’

Mar 10
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Social media fails to ‘beat email in business...

Despite the sharp rise of social media, the majority of IT and finance professionals feel email is still the best way to receive company information, according to a new survey.

The research, carried out by business automation software provider V1, investigated how different generations preferred to receive data. 

It asked participants to put themselves into a category based on what generation they were from, these groups were: baby boomers (born in the 1940s and 50s), Generation X (born in the 60s and 70s) or Generation Y (80s and 90s). 

Findings from the survey revealed some notable similarities in attitudes and trends in digital communication between the age groups.

All generations preferred email when receiving information, similarly each category scored social media channels as having little importance. In fact, all rated Twitter and Facebook as their least preferred methods as business communication.

Older employees rated Twitter as the least important, with 56 per cent giving the social media platform the lowest possible score. Generation Y ranked Facebook as their least popular channel of communication, with 53 per cent giving it a low score.

Conversely, the youngest employees were most likely to give paper the lowest rating, 42 per cent compared to 33 per cent of Generation X and 31 per cent of the baby boomers. 

Catherine Murphy, head of marketing at V1, said: “While the e-mail is the clear choice for most finance professionals in terms of how they receive information, preferences are less clear cut when it comes to other forms of communication.

“Perhaps most revealing is attitudes towards social media – it seems across the generations many employees still have a reluctance to receiving information via social media channels. Not surprisingly, the research sample confirms that paper is in decline.”

The research also revealed other IT trends that differed between the age groups. For example, baby boomers spend an average of 90 minutes a day online for business purposes and 57 minutes for social use, compared to 167 minutes a day online for business purposes, and 107 minutes for non-business for Generation Y.

Ms Murphy concluded that the results show that younger generations are the biggest technology users and she expects this trend to continue.

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