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In This Digital Age, Are Business Cards Still Relevant?

Posted by: Jimmy Bower

With the rise of LinkedIn, Facebook, Glassdoor and Twitter, it’s now become easier than ever to promote and connect your business with others. Google search can lead to any business, anywhere in the world and display information about that company at the click of a button. With technology seemingly paving the way for the future, the question lingers; are business cards still relevant in this digital age?

In the day of the rolodex, it was common place to take any opportunity, whether at a bus stop or a dinner party, to connect your business or company with others through handing out a business card. However, with today’s advancements in social media, more people are turning to other means to promote themselves or their business.

One of the major benefits of using digital means to promote your business is obvious, and has been one of the most attractive things about social media since its inception; the ability to reach out to anyone on a global scale. Business cards can only ever be passed on face to face, and although this is personal, your client/consumer reach is significantly lower than when using your business or company’s Facebook or LinkedIn.
With the creation of the smart phone and its benefits for everyday use, more people are structuring their lives using their mobile rather than keeping a planner. This means that instead of carrying around a thick diary, with 365 days of meetings, reminders and appointments, a person can quickly put in a date with a note, and are then alerted to the event with an alarm. The same applies to contacts, instead of carrying around business cards, contacts can be easily added into a phone, with not only a name and a number but a photo as well as their email address, business and website. Wallets are small enough as it is, and after carrying around your bank cards, ID, oyster card and gym membership cards, business cards just end up lost in the part of your wallet reserved for crumpled up receipts you plan on throwing away, never to be looked at again.

People are also becoming much more environmentally conscious, and using business cards are less common nowadays due to more people cutting out excessive and unnecessary use of paper. The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) claim that the current means of paper production leads to mass deforestation and contributes massively to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. So, for those of us who are conscious of our footprint, it seems sticking to digital means may be the way to go.

Not only does going digital save energy, it saves money. For every business card you are given, there is another 100 or more being given to other people. The price of production for not only your own business cards but for everyone else’s in your business or company can be expensive. Free platforms like social media are cost effective, and can easily be tailored to your business.

Many people argue that a lack of business cards is impersonal, or that digital means don’t create a mood the same way a business card exchange can. However, with the amount of experienced and creative graphic designers, digital marketing teams and social media content creators that are available today, anyone can have a website or profile that draws attention and represents the company/business effectively.

Business cards may look pretty, but ultimately they can be a major waste of money, are bad for the environment, and although they may be received with a smile and a handshake, they will most likely end up in business card heaven - at the bottom of a wallet, purse, briefcase or bag never to be seen again. In an effort to not only stay up to date, but stay connected and guarantee that your business or company is seen and engaged with, going digital is the obvious choice.

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