How the Internet Changed Business Forever

Thirty years ago, opening a business was a very different proposition.The target market was within a few miles of the business location.Advertising the company involved putting up a few signs on the storefront, ads in the paper or sending flyers in the mail.

The internet changed all of that – and so much more.

The business world will never be the same, thanks to the tech evolution that we have witnessed in the past couple decades.Here are four ways the internet transformed how companies do business.

  1. Communication

Email and instant messaging are now the two default formats of communication within many businesses. Whether it is through WhatsApp, Slack or another messaging platform, many employees talk to each other and their bosses through such means.

The result?Employees who can keep in touch with each other with ease. It is no longer necessary to call someone or go see them in person, when a short message or email will do the trick.

It also means companies are able to involve freelancers and remote employees, as they can communicate with everyone despite being hundreds of miles away! People can video conference into big meetings, access company networks from a laptop in a coffee shop and subject projects through cloud services in an instant.

  1. Marketing

While many small businesses still focus on the local market, the way they advertise to those people is different. Most businesses use the internet and social media for efficient, cost effective advertising.

Thanks to web and mobile websites, search engine optimization, social media marketing and video marketing, companies can reach out to potential customers who are one or one thousand miles away!

  1. Research

It is so much easier for businesses to research their target market. Collecting data on customers also means that future products and services can better match what the company’s most loyal customers are seeking.

Data collection and analysis is more efficient than before. Every single interaction with a customer is logged, inputted into the total data captured and then analyzed for the betterment of the company.

Say a company wants to expand to another location. There is limitless data regarding the demographics, spending habits, interests and preferences of people in different cities. Accessing and leveraging this information is also so much easier.

  1. Leveling the Playing Field

When every change to the way businesses run is added up, the result is a leveling of the playing field.

A few decades ago, major companies had an enormous advantage over newcomers in the market. While there is still a dominance in many industries by huge corporations, it is easier for a new business to make an impression.

The internet and connectivity ensures that reaching a wide audience is possible on a shoestring budget. Companies can launch Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaigns to get financing for new products.And there is no sign of a slowdown.

Technology is only evolving and becoming more efficient. With 5G internet speeds, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other tech, the business landscape may look completely different a decade or two from now.

How Has Twitter Changed Since Its Inception?

Founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Twitter was seen as a quaint alternative to the established social media platforms of the time.Facebook was already huge, MySpace was still relevant and no one was quite sure where Twitter fit in.

Fast forward more than a decade and tens of millions of people use Twitter every single day.It is a platform for gathering news, sharing thoughts on interests with like-minded people and watching short form video content.

But is Twitter the same type of platform it was in 2006 or even 2010? Most would say no.

How Has Twitter Changed?

The biggest and most obvious change to Twitter since its inception is its scale. Users who were among the first arrivers onto the platform recall a much smaller, niche community.

And the volume of tweets from each account has also changed. Back in 2009, the average person on Twitter posted five times per month. That number went up to around 25 tweets per month between 2012 and 2013. It has since levelled off.

More Conversing

During the first few years of Twitter, it was solely a platform where people shared their thoughts in less than 180 characters. Replies were a very small part of the platform. Only five or six percent of all tweets in 2007 were replies.

Fast forward a couple years and that number went up to around 35 percent. It means a lot more people are using Twitter for the purpose of replying to others’ tweets. Discussion is up on the platform.

Another type of tweet that has risen is the mention. Early on, the number of tweets that mentioned another user on the platform was around 20 percent. Now the number is close to 60 percent. It means almost two-thirds of tweets on the platform are referencing or replying to another user.

More Than an American Platform

Twitter may have started as an American platform, where most of the users came from the United States and Canada. It has changed a lot since then. Only 30 percent of the people on Twitter are from those two countries.

English is still the most popular language on the platform, though. English was at 90 percent popularity in 2010, but it has since fallen to around 50 percent. It does indicate that many people from different parts of the world are now engaging on Twitter in their own language.

Less Fun, More Politics?

Many people who used Twitter since its inception look back on a platform that used to be about fun, jokes and interesting insight into different topics.

With its rising popularity, Twitter was leveraged by both businesses and politicians. It became the de facto platform where politicians could post short messages to a wide audience, without any need for a middle man.

The result is a platform that is dominated by news, politics and related topics. There are still people who use Twitter solely for their amusement, but the general image of the platform is one centered around news and politics.

Is Video Ready to Replace Written Content?

The earliest adopters of search engine optimization and online marketing are aware of how much written content used to dominate.While it is still a very powerful tool for communication and promoting businesses online, it is taking a back seat.

Many experts now see video as the dominant platform, as it gets a lot more engagement.But is video ready to replace written content entirely? Here is a short assessment.

Importance of Written Content for Search Engines

The way search engines work is simple. They use web crawlers to quickly index content so it is retrievable through search engine queries. While video can be optimized for search engines, the most effective way to promote content is through keywords, meta data and backlinks.

And search engines are still the most common way for people to use the internet. Some may go straight to YouTube if they want to look for an explainer video, but most users will search Google or Bing when they want to learn more about a business, product, service or topic.

Video Controls, While Written Content Helps the Reader Decide

Video content is very popular online – and for good reason. Most online videos are short, to the point, entertaining and full of personality. They create a story, hook in the viewer and provide a payoff – all within a few minutes.

But if there is a shortcoming to video content, it is how it impacts the viewer. Most online video content tells people what they want to hear and how they should interpret it. Very little is left to the imagination.

Quality written content can do more. It provides information, offers analysis and may even take a side. But it will give the reader a lot more scope to make up their own mind. And many internet users prefer this method of obtaining information.

In other words, video may be great for a bit of comic relief or showing how a product works. But people who want more in-depth, well rounded information will go with written content.

Great Marketing Campaigns Involve Both

The best content marketing campaigns do not limit themselves to written or video content. They will leverage both. Audiences want both – and the goal of most marketing campaigns is to reach the widest possible audience.

Video is perfect for evoking emotions, telling a story, putting a face to a company and to promote products/services on social media. Videos can also accompany written pieces, providing a quick-fire summary of the written content.

Written content promotes critical thought, showcases a brand or individual as an authority on a subject, provides in-depth information about products and services, and is preferred by people browsing the web on their computer.

Any content marketer who is ready to consign written content to the scrap heap is doing themselves or their clients a disservice.

While video content is more popular than ever – and only growing – it does have its limitations. Written content will always have a purpose, at least in our lifetimes. The way internet and humans work merits it.

How Has the Internet Changed?

The internet is something that has really undergone a lot of change as time goes on. Whether you’re looking at its impact on our world or how you may want to try and utilize it for your own needs, it’s likely that you have a lot of questions and ideas as to what it is that you may be trying to do with it over time. The internet has changed a lot in my lifetime and, because of that, it’s interesting to take a look at what has happened there.

Easier to navigate

The internet is so much easier to navigate than it has been in the past. Back in the day, you had to use keywords on AOL in order to get where you needed to go, and it wasn’t as efficient as search engines like Google and Bing are. Nowadays, you use a search engine and you find that it’s really easy to actually work out what you want to find. It’s more efficient and much less stressful to try and use it all.

Social media has changed human interactions

I interact with people a lot differently than I did when I was younger. Why? Because social media made it that way. Between instant messaging services, sharing our lives on social media, and everything in between, it’s become much easier to communicate and let people know what is going on in our lives. We can share pictures, information, and other things. Sometimes, we end up oversharing (which can cause its own set of problems), but it is definitely different than in the past.

More information available to us than ever before

Having the ability to get information at our fingertips is an amazing thing, and more information is becoming readily available via the web. While you may have to search for it (see above), you will find that you’ve got plenty of ways in which you can learn. Online learning is more popular, and there are lots of free classes and master classes that you can take in order to expand your set of information and what it is that you may be looking to accomplish with your future as well.

More accessible to many people

There are more people than ever who have the internet. Even rural areas are starting to get access to cable internet. When I was younger, my home could only get dial up, but that isn’t even an option in most places. The technology has gotten that much more affordable as time has gone on, and that allows more people to get the internet to their homes and offices without breaking the bank.

The internet is always adapting and evolving, and it will probably continue to do so, well into the future. Finding ways to make things better for everyone and more accessible to everyone is important and it really can be a big deal in relation to how you may want to accomplish your ideas and goals.

How Is Social Media Evolving Over Time?

Social media is one of those technologies that is continually growing and adapting. But, how has social media changed over the years? What makes it different than other modes of communication? I started using social media back when Facebook started (I was still in college) and now it’s a phenomenon that seems to have taken over everything. It’s always changing, however, and here are some of the changes I’ve seen over the years.

Social Media is More Popular Than Ever

Almost everyone I know uses some form of social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most commonly used ones, but there are others that people sometimes use as well (Google+, for example). With so many different types of social media, all of which are meant for different things, and all used in different ways, it’s not surprising that it has increased in popularity as time has gone on and more people have jumped in to try things out.

Social Media is Simpler to Use

Social media is, if nothing else, simple to use. And it’s so simple that people of all ages and backgrounds are using it. My 75 year old great uncle uses it on a regular basis, and many of my parents’ friends have it as well. It’s really easy to sign up for an account, figure out how it all works and work what it is that you need to do in order to get the most out of the site. There is still a little bit of a learning curve, but it’s definitely nothing like it was when I first started to use it back in the early 2000’s.

There Are Always New Ways to Use Social Media

Social media is always stepping up its game. Whether you want to go live on Instagram or Facebook, you want to share pictures on every site, or do some fun things with friends with games, you can do it via social media. It pulls us closer than ever before, allows us to make friends and lets us have a generally good time with everything that we want to be able to enjoy. It really is interesting to see how it’s been changing and, as time goes on, it’s likely that more new technologies will be added to these websites, too.

Social Media Sites Have to Adapt to our Political Climate

Politics have really taken front stage on social media, from political leaders using social media regularly to people sharing their opinions about how they feel about politics. Social media sites have had to adapt to these changes over time, and will probably continue to adapt.

What have you seen from social media over the years? It’s really been interesting to see how it has changed over the years and how it will continue to change as time goes on. Social media is a big part of our world, and it’s likely that it will continue to be in the future.