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This content is taken from the University of Reading's online course, Digital Leadership: Creating Value Through Technology. Join the course to learn more.

Welcome to Week 4

Welcome back and congratulations on reaching this final week of the course!

In week 4, you’ll explore social media and Internet of Things (IoT) and the opportunities and challenges these digital technologies bring to organisations.

Our recent, e-leadership skills project survey within Europe, revealed that 92% of all successful companies invest in social media and IoT, which adds up to 14% and 12% of their spending accordingly. Social media has become integral to the way many companies: market their products, gather market research and interact with their customers, with some organisations managing their twitter accounts 24 hours a day to answer customer queries.

Social media tools are great at stimulating discussion around a topic. We use them within our teaching at Henley Business School, to share videos and articles with our students. Response time can be instant, with notifications appearing on our phones or via email as soon as someone has posted.

There are several key ways that social media marketing can help improve your business. It can:

  1. Increase brand recognition, through the use of social media networks as a channel for your products.

  2. Connect businesses to your customers and improve brand loyalty, through greater engagement within social media channels.

  3. Convert more opportunities through posts on social media platforms, providing a powerful means by which to access new and existing customers.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an internet development that enables everyday digital tools and objects such as: mobile phones, TVs, car computers, tablets, laptops, satellites, and any other object that contains a microchip, to interconnect with one another. These tools and objects send and receive information and share a wide range of data with one another, providing exciting opportunities for businesses and other organisations to add value to their processes and improve sustainability.

Take the following example of the IoT applied to environmental management. This application monitors and controls the operations of a city infrastructure including: bridges, railway tracks and highways through the exchange of data. Any event or change in structural conditions that might compromise safety are identified, through the receipt and analyses of data in real time. Not only does this application help improve safety, it also helps the city to schedule repair and maintenance activities in a more efficient way, by coordinating tasks between different service providers and users.

We’ll be looking at the use of social media and IoT in business in closer detail in the next steps. Don’t forget to mark this step as ‘complete’ before you move on.

Remember to include #FLdigitalLead in any discussions you may have about the course on Twitter and don’t forget you can access our A-Z glossary for further information.

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This article is from the free online course:

Digital Leadership: Creating Value Through Technology

University of Reading