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Read VA Shiva’s Article on Integrating Email and Social Media.

VA Shiva, the Inventor of Email, provides insight into email and how it relates to other social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Email is here to stay. Those who learn how to integrate email with social media will have a competitive edge.

What is Email?

Email is a system. Email is not the simple exchange of text messages. Email is a system of interlocked parts whose origin is the emulation of the inter-office, inter-organizational paper-based mail system. In 1978, VA Shiva Ayyadurai created the first email system, electronically reproducing the inter-office mail system he observed at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in Newark, New Jersey.

As detailed on,  this system included the inbox, outbox, address book, memo, forwarding, and other features that are the mainstays of all modern email systems such as Yahoo and Gmail. Today, email provides a platform not only for inter-office communication but also for email marketing, electronic billing, email management of customer service complaints, surveys, and a host of other applications. While some might have said erroneously that “email is dead,” VA Shiva Ayyadurai believes that email is here to stay for a long, long time.

In 1993, separately and long after his invention of email, VA Shiva Ayyadurai went on to develop EchoMail®, another system. This system was for managing inbound email as well as for email marketing. EchoMail® emerged from a competitive award for email management sponsored by the United States White House and won by VA Shiva Ayyadurai. Today, EchoMail® stands as an enterprise system for monitoring, managing, and marketing across both email and social media.

How Email Differs from Social Media

Over the past five years, email as a system has found its niche in particular forms of communication different from social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Email today is typically used for business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer communication, both as a service and for marketing. Facebook is focused around building communities and social networks, and is more comparable to bulletin-board-type messaging. Twitter provides short messaging akin to a Post-It note. If one looks farther back in history, Facebook is analogous to community cave paintings, whereas Twitter is comparable to smoke signals;  i.e., short-burst messages constrained by space and length. Email resembles writing on papyrus, which was originally used for communications and commerce. Email will likely become the preferred system for relatively more formal communications, and Facebook and Twitter for more community-based social communication and informal short messages.

Integrating Email and Social Media

To be competitive today, large organizations as well as small businesses must learn how to communicate with customers, partners, and employees as well as with prospects for both email and social media. Platforms such as EchoMail® provide an easy way for monitoring, managing, and marketing through both email and social media. Such platforms will be crucial to finding and keeping customers.

People communicate their views about an organization not only by email, but also through social media. In addition, reaching people and marketing to potential customers or prospects requires email, which is relatively more individual, as well as Facebook and Twitter, which reach niche social networks. Integrated platforms, which manage inbound and outbound communication and provide both customer service and marketing in a unified way, will be critical to build relationships across various stakeholders.

As social commerce grows, such integrated platforms, including EchoMail®, will define an organization’s success relative to revenue and profit as well as to customer acquisition and retention.

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