Texting is the new email: business tips

text messagesNow that everyone is spending more time texting, a few rules of the road might be in order.

Geoffrey James, writing in the Sales Source column for Inc., has come up with his unwritten rules for business texting:

  1. Don’t text a question you can google. There’s no need to text some­­one for driving directions if you have a smartphone. 
  2. Don’t text spam. It will probably be the last time you hear from that person.
  3. Don’t text anything indiscreet. The wrong person could be looking over the recipient’s shoulder.
  4. Don’t text a wrong number. Double-check the number be­­­­fore hitting send or cut and paste it.
  5. Don’t text anything complex. Complex information belongs in an email, not a text.
  6. Don’t text in ALL CAPS. Use asterisks for emphasis.
  7. Don’t text whilst driving. Texting makes you 23 times more likely to get in an accident.
  8. Don’t text while tipsy. This could ruin your credibility or your busi­­ness relationship.
  9. Don’t text indecipherable ab­­­bre­­viations. Take the time to spell it out. 
  10. Don’t text to avoid delivering bad news personally. Make it face to face.
  11. Don’t text whilst in a face-to-face meeting. No one appreciates this rude behavior.
  12. Don’t text trivial courtesy mes­­sages. A thanks back to the sender isn’t needed.
  13. Don’t try to text anything sub­­tle. Shoot for clarity; don’t try to be clever.
  14. Don’t expect an immediate text back. The recipient may be busy or unavailable. 
  15. Don’t text people who might be sleeping. Apply the same rules as when phoning: nothing after 9 p.m. or before 7 a.m.
  16. Don’t ever text the acronym “LOL.” You’re not in middle school anymore.

— Adapted from “16 Rules for Business Texting,” Geoffrey James, Inc.