Communicating Within 140 Characters

Social Media Impact on Business Communication

Posted May 09, 2011

From sharing pictures of your newborn on Facebook to Tweeting about where you buy diapers.  Social media is changing is the way we communicate. 

The question is:  How will it impact business communication? 

Before we explore this topic, let's review some 2010 Facebook and Twitter statistics issued by Digital Surgeons (to see infographic click 2010).

Did you know that between the ages of 13 to 34?

  • 63% were Facebook users (out of 500 million) and
  • 47% were Twitter users (out of 106 million)

Although the statistics cover a large age bracket, it highlights the future, entering, and junior/mid-level workforce (ages 13 to 34) that are heavily using social media to communicate.

The challenge will be predicting the adverse effects from solely communicating through these mediums. 

One language shift we're currently experiencing is communicating within Twitter's 140 characters. 

Users are forced to shorten their messages and as a result, are creating acronyms to communicate - such as LOL, BTW, BRB, LMAO and others that I'm sure you are already aware of.

These acronyms have now become apart of our everyday speech.  By no means I'm saying it's bad but it does impact how we traditionally communicate. 

Think about it, when was the last time you sent a hand-written letter to someone and mailed it?  As old school as that may sound, email will be the "new" old school for the new generations.

So what does this mean for business communication?

1.    The use of acronyms will increase

2.    An increase in short quick messages

3.    Information will spread faster

Leaders will need to think about how to communicate and lead their teams within this environment.  Newer generations entering the workforce will seek these types of communication mediums. 

Followership may no longer be just about in person group dynamics but also about how many Twitter Followers you have. 

You may question this last comment but have you noticed that teenagers' text each other versus talk to each other when they are in the same room?  Or that people Facebook each other instead of picking up the phone? 

To learn more about How to Twitter, click HERE.  It's a great infograpich created by a company called

1 can only guess how SM will impact biz comms.  TTYS. : )


Bernardo Tirado, PMP

Bernardo covers leadership and technology for   In addition to being an industrial psychologist, he’s certified as a Six Sigma Blackbelt, Project Management Professional, Body Language Expert, and is a Train-the-Trainer in Analytical Interviewing.  

About the Author

Bernardo Tirado is an industrial psychologist and project management executive.

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