Within the last twenty years, something amazing has happened. As the Internet grew and as access to online sources became more mainstream, the concept of globalization became more of a reality. Many everyday tasks have changed, for better or worse. Fifteen years ago you could not purchase groceries from a computer and have them delivered to your house. Because of these developments, the field of marketing has been greatly affected. Over the last several years, marketers have come to utilize a new form of mass communication known as social media.
So, what is social media? The easiest way to define it is by a breakdown of the term. "Media" is a tool to communicate information (e.g. a news program on television) and "social" meaning interaction. In short, it is ways to communicate ideas and interact with one another through the use of the Internet. It comes in so many forms that it would be impossible for one to list them all, but some of the better examples of social media would be Facebook (social networking), YouTube (video sharing), and Wikipedia (online encyclopedia). All of these platforms provide the everyday person to communicate information and interact with others.
As social interaction has increased through the use of social media, marketers have begun to see the potential on expanding clientele. I do not need to tell you how busy life can be. At times, it is much easier to casually communicate with friends and families through the use of Facebook or Twitter. Marketers use these platforms in order to increase exposure of their company's product or services to the general public, all in the hopes of attracting potential customers. It helps advertise to people who simply do not have the time to see what were, once upon a time, common places for advertisements such as radio, newspapers or even television.
As companies have begun to format their marketing plans to utilize social media, this has also brought the rise to marketing firms that specialize in social media. These experts know the various platforms work and how to generate views or "traffic" for their client's websites and through that traffic, potentially gain more customers.
The Internet has changed so much, especially on how we gain information. As such, marketers have to change with the age in order to gain customers. Through the use of social media platforms, marketing can reach people on a global scale as the Internet brings us ever closer together.
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