n today’s environment, firms
are seeking cost effective and powerful methods to communicate theirmessage to potential consumers. The internet provides many opportunities and access to a vast base of consumers, it has changed the way that firms do business and the way consumers engage with brands.With new technologies always emerging, firms have realised that social media is not used just forsocialising but also used for connecting with customers.Social media has a place in the business world, it has never been easier to access and publishinformation. In the beginning, people used social networks for connecting with family and friends andshare information and opinions but
it wasn’t long until marketers became aware of how they could
use social network sites to their advantage.Marketing spends are moving online rather than spending on print media according to the MarketingInstitute of Ireland. Social media is all around us and for most people it is part of their daily routine. Itcan take the form of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Email and SMSmarketing. According to Nielson (2009) up to 2/3 of the worlds internet population visit a socialnetworking site on a weekly basis, people are spending more time on social networking sites. Associal media was once aimed at a younger audience, it is now aimed at all ages. It gives people theopportunity to access information 24/7 with no restrictions on time or location, which is why peopleare more receptive to social media messages than advertising.Many companies have always used social media as a platform to connect with customers such asYahoo, Apple, Starbucks and Microsoft, but it is only recently with the growth of social network sitesthat many more companies have started using social media to connect with customers.
Social media is changing the way firms promote their brands
Social media provides many benefits for firms, it allows firms to inform consumers about theirproducts and services and raise awareness more effectively because they can listen to
opinions and feedback and build relationships via two way communications. Most importantly firmscan gather consumer information more quickly and accurately than ever before because social mediamethods allows for interaction.It allows them to engage with customers while also saving time and money for the firm. It also givesthem the opportunity to operate on a global level and reach out to customers that traditional methodswould not. They can attract new consumers and serve existing consumers better because they areconducting business based on personal engagement.It is the most powerful way to build brands, giving them greater online presence and increasedpopularity while at the same time there is no need for huge investments. Firms have the ability tocreate trust, respect and equity for their brands.