As the global trend of social media networking grows at an alarming rate, many businesses are beginning to invest some of their marketing efforts in advertising on these websites. Social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, offer companies a simple and efficient way to reach out and advertise to their demographic. For example, Facebook claims that they currently have over 400 million active users (70% of those from international nations) who typically spend an hour on the site each day. Facebook originally was built as a networking site for college students and that still serves as its primary function. Therefore, by marketing on a social network like Facebook, companies can advertise at minimal fees despite knowing that their efforts are being directed almost solely towards their depicted target group. These sites also offer their users the option to become fans of various business and companies. Every time someone becomes a fan of a group, the friends of that individual are exposed to that business. It forces users to have constant exposure of businesses and their advertising campaigns. Essentially, social networking creates a referral marketing or pyramid selling structure, without requiring additional work from advertisers and sellers.
Beside the low cost and efficiency of social media marketing, another benefit is the fact that these networks allow consumers and companies to interact like never before. Whether through market researching techniques such as polling or surveying, or even just feedback from customers, marketing via social media networks allows companies and consumers to generate a better give and take relationship. Before social media networks became mainstream, interaction between sellers and consumers occurred far less often. In todays’ world, conversations can take place between the two groups at the click of a button. Because of how easy it is now to communicate through the applications of these networks, many people are much more willing to offer their opinion, as they no longer have to take time out of their days to make a 800-number call, send a formal e-mail, or even write a letter and send it to the corporation.
Overall, social media marketing has lead to an increase in communication between the consumer and eventual product. Eventually, social media marketing will clearly become a positive for both parties involved. Products will be able to facilitate more of the consumers’ needs, while at the same time, companies are granted another cheap and reliable option to market their product to their select demographic.