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Glenn Halbrooks

A New Poll Shows Many Americans Prefer Texting to Talking

By September 21, 2011

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For millions of Americans, their favorite form of communicating has changed. Years ago, they would have been constantly jabbering on their cell phones. Now all that talking has been replaced by the endless keystrokes of text messaging.

A photo of a young woman using a cell phone
Media companies can take advantage of the popularity of texting.
Photo © Jupiterimages / Getty Images
That's one of the findings of a new Pew Research survey of cell phone use. While it says about a third of cell phone users overall prefer texting to talking, among young adults the popularity of text messages skyrockets.

This is an important finding for any media company planning for the future. The question you should be asking is: how are you getting information and your brand message to these people?

Texting is closely linked to social media because people are using their fingers to tweet and to update their Facebook status. Take a look at your social media strategy. Decide if your Twitter and Facebook pages are a priority or just a throwaway. It could be time to assign people to monitor and update your social media products, which have to stay fresh in order to be effective.

Consider adding cell phone apps to your product offerings. In a few years, this will likely be a standard way of communicating, so don't be left playing catch-up.

Above all, look for value. Offer information or services that can't be found elsewhere. In other words, don't worry about tweeting last night's baseball scores 12 hours after the final pitch. Anyone who's interested in baseball would've already seen the scores several times already. For anyone else, the numbers are just clutter.

With Facebook and Twitter use spreading to all age groups, social media can no longer be considered a fad for young people -- the Pet Rock or Rubik's Cube of this generation. The good news for any media company is that with the right plan, it's easier to connect with people who are text messaging than it is to those endlessly chattering on their phones.

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September 27, 2011 at 6:39 am
(1) Suzy says:

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer talking over texting, anyday! I think if people born after 1980, do prefer texting, but I was born in the ’60s, and back then there were just phones, and not even the push button phones. We had to use the old rotary phones, until the mid-1970′s…. Boy, I’m aging myself here!!

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