How to Text Professionally
Text messaging for professional purposes differs from the everyday text messaging we do with friends and family. Professional courtesy and appropriate content are key. The tips below will help ensure your business texts are effective and support your business objectives.
Tip #1: Keep a Professional Tone
This should go without saying in any form of communication, but it is especially important to keep your tone professional when business texting.
Not every sentence needs to end with an exclamation point! Although it’s very common for people to use exclamation points, it is unprofessional as are abbreviations such as lol and thx.
A big aspect of how to text professionally is striking the right tone. Consider your audience — boss, colleague, etc — and customize your message. You customize your message for other forms of business communications, so texting should not be any different.
Tip #2: Watch the Time
Business texting demands a fair bit of responsiveness if you are the one receiving a text. As a standard rule of thumb, you should respond to a business text on the same day it was received unless you receive a communication after hours. In that case, there is nothing wrong with waiting until the following morning.
Of course, if you receive a text late on a Friday afternoon, you may not feel comfortable waiting until the next business day to respond. In this case, you can send out a quick response to indicate you are off for the weekend and to expect a reply first thing on Monday.
The takeaway here is that you should respect others’ time much like you would want others to respect yours. Setting boundaries on when you engage in business texting also helps you balance your home and work life.
Tip #3: Check your Grammar
This seems obvious, but it really isn’t. While a friend or family member may not judge you for a tense or punctuation error, these types of errors are not appropriate with business texting. Texts are a written medium, so you need to proofread before hitting SEND.
Texting professionally requires taking the time to make sure that what you say makes sense. If you blame autocorrect or the speech-to-text feature for ridiculous errors, it shows a lack of judgement and attention to detail.
Slow down and read the words on the screen before you send them.
While it may seem like an art, there is a science to how to text professionally. If you think before you text, you will present yourself more professionally in a world that is increasingly reliant on SMS messaging platforms for both external and internal communications.