Social Media and Business: Influence Generates Return
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The evolution of social media over the past decade has created a space for businesses to improve their ability to market and connect with customers. There are several types of social media including social networking, web logs, microblogs, and content sharing sites. All of these are used by millions of consumers everyday, thus attracting the attention of businesses, small and big alike. The focus of this paper is to examine the effect that social media has on businesses and · the relevance for businesses to try and exploit this new field of technology. Social media has been around since the 1990s, but in the past couple of years the number of users has exploded along with the number of businesses using the technology. There are several ways that businesses can utilize social media and a number of different business areas where it can be used. This paper focuses on social networking sites, blogs, and media rich sites along with the ways companies utilize these to improve their marketing or customer service. The evolution of social media has created the ability to communicate with customers at a direct level. The results of the paper include a discussion on the relevance of social media for business and the return that can be generated from the use of social media. It does not make -sense for all companies to employ social media techniques, but for companies that have done the correct research and have the right target market it can be a successful tool. The return for these companies is not measured in the same way that return on investment is typically measured because it does not create direct sales in most cases. Instead it is measured in a way similar to customer service because it creates brand image and promotes communication. Social media is a new and great tool for companies to use, but it will continue to evolve and so will the people that use it. However, social media websites are only a tool and the theories of economics and sociology must still be used when exercising these techniques.