There's More to Tech Than Social Media

By Graves, Earl G., Jr. | Black Enterprise, March 2012 | Go to article overview

There's More to Tech Than Social Media


Graves, Earl G., Jr., Black Enterprise


On a number of occasions, you've probably heard me refer to technology as "the great equalizer." It's true. Proper and effective use call enhance the sales, financial, and marketing performance of any company; deepen customer and personal relationships; and enrich all aspects of our busy lives.

I have only to look to my own daily interactions to fully demonstrate the benefits of a tech-driven lifestyle. Running a business like BLACK ENTERPRISE requires a 24/7/365 focus, so I find it vital to have the essential tools to track developments of each division, immediately access contacts, stay abreast of my finances and investments, and regularly touch base with family--especially with three kids attending out-of-state colleges. (Have any of you ever had the experience of calling your kids and having them text you back or being declined as a Facebook friend?) Clearly, I find my Blackberry and iPad critical to managing my business and life.

Over the past few years, I have witnessed that an increasing number of African Americans--especially those among the Millennial set--have become plugged into tech, largely due to the fact that we own more cell phones than any other demographic group and our Internet usage has grown exponentially. Moreover, African Americans have used these devices to dominate social media networks. In fact, the most recent Pew Internet study revealed that African Americans over indexed on Twitter: Blacks represent 2 5% of Twitter traffic but comprise 13% of the U.S. population.

While narrowing the digital divide should be viewed as a most positive development, I find too much of our social media chatter has been focused on celebrity gossip and ridiculous commentary on reality shows like Real Housewives of Atlanta. I believe that a far more effective use of social media should be tied to information related to personal and financial advancement, especially for entrepreneurs. Business owners should apply social media strategies to connect with customers, gain visibility, and promote products and services. …

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