Over the past twenty years, with the creation of the World Wide Web, there has been a global shift into a digital era. The popularity of the Internet, paired with rapidly advancing digital technology has transformed the way in which society functions at every level and introduced the platform of social media. Big business is adapting to the hugely popular world of social media, but how is small business being affected and influenced by this change?
The Transformation of Business Operations
A major component, if not the staple of society, is business. The advancement of digital technology prompted businesses to start changing the way in which they operate. The business world, after the Internet went public in the early 1990s, began to incorporate the World Wide Web into their operations, and soon after started to digitize their entire infrastructure. The large corporations were able to adapt to this new expensive way of doing business, but the smaller companies were not able to digitize as quickly due to the high expenses.
Popularity of the Internet Today & Impact on Business
After the Internet was opened to the public in the early 90s, more and more people began using it, and it rapidly gained recognition. Today, 2.1 billion people are using the Internet, which includes individuals, firms, corporations, and small businesses. In 2012, it is much more affordable and common for people to access and establish themselves on the Internet. Businesses of all different sizes may now have an Internet presence, either through paid sites, or free-to-set-up social networking sites. Where before, large businesses took up the majority of airtime on television, and ads in newspapers, there are now huge outlets for small businesses to get their name recognized through the web.
Social Media: Helping Small Business
Social media and networking has become an essential way to stay connected in today's digital society. Where before, small businesses were not granted an equal amount of advertising through traditional outlets (television, radio, etc.), small businesses can now branch out and establish themselves onto a multitude of free or low cost social networking sites. Those small businesses that are willing to adapt to the current trend of social networking can find it rewarding. By joining into the social media world, these smaller companies are able to stand out in an increasingly noisy marketplace. This increased exposure can yield improved sales and while simultaneously reducing marketing costs.