The Impact of Digital Media
About the author: Alice Grey is a bachelor in English philology and sociology at California University. She is currently working as one of the best writers at the descriptive essay structure She also studies feminine psychology.
Across the world, journalists and traditional news media organizations have come to realize that new media—blogs, social networking sites, cell phone messaging, and other relatively new technology applications—are having a profound impact on their work. In a recent survey of the U.S. journalists, the majority of respondents said that new media have made a significant impact on the speed, tone, and editorial direction of their reporting. No doubt that digital media is here to stay, and it provides a tremendous impact.
Here are the ways digital media impacts the communication strategies organizations employ to engage customers:
· Faster Information
Using digital media, organizations and companies can share various sorts of information with the public very fast. Today, they are not supposed to print inserts and wait for a Sunday paper to let people know about their sales, because they can easily tell every person in the world about an exciting promotion due to social networking, email, Internet advertisements and, of course, their own sites. Although it is essential to mention that digital media can spread both good and bad information about one’s business. A video or camera taken with a cell phone or a Facebook status update featuring a company secret or faux pas can go viral within minutes, leaving a business's reputation damaged when business before digital media would have been able to clear up the mess long before it went public.
· Greater Reach
Nowadays, due to digital media, companies have a possibility to reach much more customers than they ever could before. A simple promotion featuring a giveaway or a freebie can earn a business hundreds or thousands of Facebook fans and email and text message subscribers, meaning that the business can send a message to these consumers with just a touch of a button. On the other hand, digital media does not limit consumers to reach back. A decade ago, a complaint from a customer was not ever a big deal. If a person did not like one’s product or service, he or she could do nothing, but have a sort of conversation with a manager or any other top man in the company. This means that one, five or even ten consumers did not have any way to make harm to someone’s business. Now, let us take a look at current situation. If nobody is satisfied by what you sell or produce, he or she can find your blog, Facebook or Twitter page, or any other social networking sites and use digital media in order to post a negative comment, which is visible for anyone who visits the site.
If someone wants to use digital media, he or she has to integrate modern technologies in the company. This means modernization – one of the main needs for modern companies, which is necessary for them to be competitive on the market. By adopting laptops, smart phones, and other devices, one can provide a positive impact on the other areas of his or her business. For instance, modern mobile technology gives employees a possibility to communicate with each other very easily. However, all impacts have both positive and negative sides, and this one has some difficulties either. New technology is expensive, and sometimes it does not have the positive effect its champions think it will have. For example, "Information Week" notes that a number of companies gave its employees home computers when the Internet first became popular hoping that those employees would be a positive influence for the company online. However, the program really ended up causing support and tax problems for the companies and employees.
Nowadays, to get information about the company, people mainly do not use television, radio, or a printed advertisement. They prefer creating media, which includes everything: text, audio and video. "This mixed media can appeal to a larger audience with differentiated preferences. However, it is also more costly to keep up with the ever-changing technology and may require the creation of new strategists who can think and create digital" (Miranda Morley) .
Talking about impacts of digital media, we always mention social media (Facebook and Twitter sites), which is today an integral part of everyone’s lives. As it was mentioned, social media is the place where a great part of companies’ reputation is built. Let us just compare what we needed to get people know about some organization or a company 10 years ago and what we need to do now. In those "ancient times", one had to integrate his or her company on the market first, which required much time. To let people know about the products, one was supposed to make a good presentation by using TV, radio, newspaper advertisements, and the other means of media, which was always an expensive and long-lasting process.
Today, there is no need to use all this to let people know what one produces and how good it is. All one is supposed to do is to post a sort of advertisement on the page in Facebook or Twitter (or any other social network) of his or her company, and that will be a good start. Traditional marketing mediums such as the radio, TV commercials, and printed advertisements are completely obsolete now and demand for thousands of dollars. However, with social media, businesses can connect with their targeted customers for free; the only cost is energy and time. Through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social site, one can lower the marketing cost to a significant level. Social networks allow performing two very important things: representing the company and building reputation. The latter is reached through the feedbacks left by customers.
Social networks help to unite customers into one community. This is very important, because it gives an opportunity for customers to reach the company or organization with no problem, use its services or buy a new product online. Besides, it keeps them from fake organizations, which can produce the "same" products or provide "similar" services under the name of a real company. This community serves as an advertisement as well. The more consumers it contains, the more potential customers the company can get. This all happens through feedbacks. By posting positive feedbacks, customers advertise the company, telling people that the products it produces (or services it provides) are great and worth buying (using) .
Searching through some social network is not equal to mindless picking some product hoping it is not bad. Today, before choosing something, people find out what their friends like. A whopping 68% of Facebook users say a recommendation from a Facebook friend would make them more likely to buy a specific product or visit a certain retailer. Besides, customers always take into consideration recommendations which can always be found on the company’s Facebook or Twitter page. According to the statistics nowadays, more than 50 percent of companies acquire their customers through the social network. Besides, 82% of customers show a tendency to trust the company which has its own page on the social network.
Searching some products in Google is boring and not effective enough. A like from one friend in the social network must catch one’s eye, but 20 likes from friends will make one notice it. That is how much opportunities social media provides for customers.
The way of using social networks to engage customers is very effective, quick, and it absolutely does not need money. This is because a huge popularity of social media, especially among the youth. Large numbers of individuals wake up every morning and check their social accounts instead of reading the newspaper. A research has made it clear that a large number of the internet users in America spend about 22% of their time online by wandering around the social sites.
Analyzing all information mentioned above, one can easily state that social media is not for college or high school students only. Nowadays, it is widely used by companies, employees, and customers. Social networks provide a great impact on the way companies and organizations do their business and the way they engage customers and collaborate with them.