Business cards in a digital world

The rise of social media, smartphones and instant messaging services has led many to believe print media is waning and that traditional promotional materials such as business cards are becoming irrelevant.

But the truth is far from this. In the real business world – although social media and other innovations have made an impact – face-to-face communication is almost always preferred over indirect interaction. And one of the most important tools professionals have in promoting their brand in these situations is the business card.

Business cards offer a tangible and personal means of engaging with other professionals – a form of networking that is fundamentally different than social media.

"While social media may get all the press hype, the vast majority of business interaction in this country still takes place face-to-face," writes Elizabeth Blackwell for The Street.

"Most business owners still interact with potential customers and partners personally at Chamber of Commerce events, the local Rotary Club or informal social gatherings," she adds.

But even though business cards are a relic of the print world, they can still be integrated with digital media. Today, the Rolodex has essentially been replaced by electronic databases, while new smartphones apps allow users to scan business cards for future reference.

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