Small Businesses Changed Forever By the Little Blue Twitter Bird

Post #1 – Response to the Rise of Digital Media

As a 22 year old student of this Public Relations & Corporate Communications program I have found myself trying to recall what it was like before cell phones, before Facebook, before Twitter, before it all. Although my knowledge is limited because I was so young, the ripple effects of this rise of digital media are vast.  

Chatting with my 12 year old cousin the other day, I found it alarming that she spent most of her time on her ITouch; ‘instagramming’ her painted toe nails and what not.  In January of 2012, The Wall Street Journal released statistics for social media saying that Facebook users average 405 minutes per visitor, Twitter 21 minutes per visitor, Pinterest 89 minutes per visitor and so on.  These numbers are surprising considering the year I was born (1989), NONE of these things even existed!  The rise of digital media has allowed for everyone to have a voice, any company to get free advertising, any headhunter to find their perfect candidate and any 12 year old to post pictures of their newly painted toe nails to the world.

But what else has it done?  I believe among countless other things, it has forever changed the lives of small business owners.  No longer do they have to pay per line or per small paragraph to have their business advertised in a newspaper or magazine; they just have to tweet their services or offerings and people know exactly what they would or should go to that business for.  Say the company does not have a Twitter or does not like their services? They can simply create a Facebook, Google Plus account or countless other platforms to display their offerings.

I have recently completed a year’s work in a small, chain boutique centered in New England.  Throughout this year I learned many things as manager and head of social media communications, but the most important thing I learned was how the rise of digital media changed very the foundation of small business.  I was specifically compensated in addition to my pay as manager for completing social media tasks, another aspect of the rise of digital media that did not even exist in the years I was young.  There was no social media in existence and therefore no jobs in association with it to be compensated for.

Although to many people I am sure this is such a small aspect, such a  spec of the size of digital media as a whole, if that’s what you are being paid for, it is the world to you!



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