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Business in the Digital Age

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Technology seems to be changing at the speed of light and with ever-changing technology the business world must evolve in order to stay competitive. The biggest change in technology over the last twenty years has been the Internet and with the World Wide Web comes social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, and Instagram, just to name a few. Bell (2011) said, “The Internet has become a potent source of real-time education.” Anytime you need to find a wealth of knowledge all you have to do is Google it. Almost instantly after clicking on the search button, Google returns millions of results, everything from government websites to individual blogs.

Bell also states (2011) “According to New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Matt Richtel, people consume an average of 12 hours of media a day.” When people are engaged in that much media everyday, the way they receive messages is changed. The way that we commutate or give and receive information has changed. In the business world you have a very short time to command the attention of a growing audience. As, the audience grows so does the need to diversify and get the information to each group a people in a way that each group is willing to accept. People have more options than ever which makes the market tougher to crack.

We often hear in the news of stories such as the story covered by the Business Insider, “Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s controversial comment that the company ‘supports biblical families’ has secured the fast-food outlet plenty of press coverage this summer, while dividing its customers.”  As we watched the story unfold in front of the nation people came out in droves some to support Chick-fil-A and others to stand up against Chick-fil-A. It sent media and the American people in a tailspin. The most recent trouble came when Cathy tweeted his disappointment in the Supreme Courts decision to allow gays the same rights to marry. His tweet was deleted moments later but not before the Chick-fil-A was in the news again.

The story of Dan Cathy teaches an important lesson to business leaders, you are a face for your company and when you speak out what you say can directly affect your bottom line.  Your social media account is no longer a personal account. Bradley found (2011) “Social media has revived and energized the co-creation movement in which firms engage their customers actively in the design and delivery of products and services.”

In my experience working for a media company, Social Media is encouraged for employees and we are allowed to use social media as we please. We are often asked to re-tweet or to share Facebook links that are company related to our fans and followers. This allows our company a free way to get more information out to the world. Some companies have put policies into place that limits or does not allow you to be on social media during company hours.

Social Media has allowed users to stay connected to the world and each other 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The more people you are connected with and the more information you can exchange.

Social Media is not all bad news. Businesses are capitalizing on the fact they can use social media to stay connected and engaged with their users. Companies often offer their customer’s special deals and the capability to be the first to know if you just follow along on social media. The idea of social media for businesses is to get as many followers as possible, to get your message out as fast as possible, to as many people as possible for little to no money.

From my own experience you still have to run a fine line in the amount of information that you put out there. I have “unliked” or quit following businesses to post too much or irrelevant information to me.  Social media can be an over kill because it is free so companies think that they have to post to much information but just like in other forms of advertisement, less can be more. Make sure that the information you put out there is not just put there to meet some quota, it has to serve a purpose.

Words like “stop the presses,” no longer exist because we no longer have to wait for the morning paper to arrive at our doorstep. We no longer have to see if our writer got latest scoop, instead it is a race to see who can get the information out the fastest. We can pick up or phones turn on our tablets or hit the remote control and have information streaming to us before we even step out of bed. The key is to get your message heard without driving your fan base away.


Bell, C. R., & Patterson, J. R. (2011). Wired and Dangerous, how your customers have changed   
       and what to do about it.  San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.  

Bradley, A. J., & McDonald, M. P. (2011). The Social Organization, How to use social media to
        tap the collective genius of your customers and employees.  
        Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.  

Lawrence A. T., & Weber J. (2011). Business and Society. Stakesholders, Ethics,
        Public Policy (13th Edition) New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.  

Bailey, S. (October 19, 2012). Chick-fil-A Likely Has Permanent Brand Damage.
         Business Insider. Retrieved from:

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