Signs of Change: "Shocking" Text Message Habits

New research from Nielsen shows that while teens 13-17 are still the most frequent texters, college students (18-24) are averaging 3 texts per hour. The "shocking" part is that they do this during classes.

I know, right? College students not paying attention to a lecture; who could have known? 

What does this mean to you?

The simple message is that 78% of your next generation of customers use text messages, and a growing number of them consider texting easier and faster than voice calls.
The advantage of giving out your cell phone number is it offers flexibility for clients to call or text you, but have you ever invited a client or prospect to text you with their questions? Have you ever responded via text?

In the business environment it is tempting to split immediate customer communications into voice or email, but consider that something you could respond to with a one-line email could probably be handled as well via text message. Is there an advantage to doing so? Maybe; it's one step easier for me to read a text message than an email on my phone; however, if it's your client's preferred method of communication, that becomes a huge advantage. 

Not everyone has text messages in their cellular plans, or feels comfortable using them, so I would ask before assuming you can communicate with a client this way. Make a note of their preference in your contact database, and start experimenting with using this communication medium to develop your comfort using it in a business environment. 

And please, resist the urge to use Twitter-speak in any of your business communications. I know there's a limited character count, but it just looks silly.

[h/t ReadWriteWeb]