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New media in the changing business world

By Mikela Dennison, Senior Account Executive @ The Clarity Business

There's no doubt the business world is changing rapidly. CEOs are blogging, business news is broken first to Twitter, and companies are spending serious time and money developing their online policies for staff.

Like the media environment, or the way consumers shop, there have also been some significant changes to how we work (meetings via Skype anyone?).

One area that is providing practical and physical changes to the way we do business is the emergence of new media technology. So, with that in this post, we'll look at how new technologies and social media channels are helping people to work smarter and more effectively.

Do you recognise any of these trends?

  • Someone taking notes on a tablet in a meeting
  • Getting the 'Sent from my iPhone' email
  • Doing a meeting via Skype or Google+
  • Recording an interview or discussion with a smart phone
  • Editing or reviewing a document or spread sheet on the go
If you recognised any of these practices, this post is for you. If you didn't recognise any of these practices, read on to get some pointers – who knows, with a little bit of advice you could just be the new media leader in your industry.

Save time, but keep your creativity

If you are used to taking handwritten notes in meetings, only to get back to the office and have to type them up into an email or document, maybe you should consider taking notes straight onto your laptop or tablet to save time and get outcomes achieved quicker.

While some people find their creative thinking or problem solving is done better with a pen or pencil, I find it far more useful to take notes on my tablet and then send a copy of the notes to meeting participants to ensure everyone is on the same page and there is a clear understanding of next steps and actions.

Opportunities for business connections and driving conversations

Businesses are continually finding ways to use new media technologies to manage operations, make connections and drive conversations.

From using tablets to get people to sign up to your company newsletter, or replacing your staff clocking in with cards or keys with a tablet-based system, or even just getting notifications when someone responds to your social media post, there are so many reasons to use technology and new media to work smarter.

Gone are the days you meet a new connection and then have to wait for an acceptable time to send them a follow up email or make a quick phone call. LinkedIn Connections on the spot, following on Twitter, or even just retweeting a message from your new contact are all useful and valuable ways to turn an encounter into a prospective client, creative collaborator, or supplier.

Work smarter, not harder

For some professionals the idea of utilising social media channels for business purposes seems too time-consuming, too complex and even a little daunting to make it a priority.

The thought of logging into multiple accounts from your desktop computer, thinking of what to do or say, or how to respond, can be enough to really put people off generating value from social media channels.

There are some simple and easy ways to reduce those headaches, with the help of new media technologies.

  • Use a social media management platform like Hootsuite with your key accounts linked up, so you can post to multiple channels in one hit: for example, your company Twitter, Facebook and WordPress blog, or your LinkedIn account and personal Twitter account.
  • Get apps on your phone or tablet like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ so you can engage with your customers and industry on the go, and don't have to log in every time
  • Get news apps and link them to your social media accounts so you can share content instantly, adding your insight to target your message to your target audience
  • Get a business card application like CardMunch on your phone so you can meet new contacts and automatically connect their card to their LinkedIn account
'Always on' mentality

It's 10pm and you're responding to a client's email about a service query. It's 7am and a customer is asking about an urgent product delivery or project update - most of you reading this will have experienced a situation very similar.

It can be of great value to your clients to know that you can be contacted at any time to help them. Particularly for consultants and advisors, if a client is in a professional pickle, being able to respond almost instantly can mean the difference between a bad call and an informed, well-advised decision.

But like anything, there are downsides to the 'always on' business mentality and it is wise to ensure you take some time away from your inbox, phone or tablet so that you can unwind and come back to your work-mode refreshed and ready to achieve professional greatness for your clients.

Extra reading and resources:

There is a wealth of information and advice that you can tap into if you are interested in learning how you can apply new media communication and technology in your work, like this post on raising awareness and driving growth for small businesses.

Are you making use of new technology and new media to work smarter and more efficiently? Let us know your own tips and tricks that make your professional life easier.