Utilizing text messages and chat programs is quickly becoming ubiquitous in the working word. What started out as pagers for doctors quickly became pagers for high-school students/drug dealers (hopefully two different groups) in the 90s. This paved the way for short text messages prior to the advent of Smartphones.
Early devices were limited in terms of display capabilities as well as in regards to the entry method. It was quite time consuming to develop a long message when utilizing the "multi-tap" method. Each number on the phone represented multiple letters and required pausing during the sequence in instances where the same number was required for subsequent letters.
A simple "Hello World" message, a nod to all of the developers out there, would require the following cumbersome input:
Ideally you didn't have too much to say at any given time.
In its infancy, short message service (SMS - limited to 160 characters) and texting forced users to be stingy with their input and helped introduce a type of shorthand that not only remains, but thrives to this day.
In the mid-nineties, the average American sent a paltry .4 texts per month - yes, per month. According to Forrester Research, that number is now six billion per day - yes, billion with a "b" per day! That's over 2 trillion a year just in America. World wide that number is over 8 trillion according to Portio Research.
What's It Mean 4 U?
So, what does that mean for you, your sites and your business as a whole? First of all, each message you send has a greater chance of being lost in all of the noise. That means your messages need to be both relevant and timely. Latching on to trending topics is a quick way to get noticed, but only if you have something to add to the conversation. Ensure that you keep your messages, comments and posts concise. As attention spans dwindle, being able to convey your thoughts in 160 characters has become a necessity.
Ensure that you understand the impact that texting can have on your brand and create a persona that conveys the image you would like presented to the world. Be consistent. Be concise. Be creative (kind of like this post!).
If you're somebody that wants a little more hard data to base your business decicions on (and you should be!), OneReach has done a fantastic job of compiling stats from a number of respected sources that should be enough to convice you.