The Internet allows for unprecedented access to information and communication between people and businesses. There are more devices connected to the Internet than people on the planet and more people with mobile devices than people with toothbrushes. People have access to the Internet every second of the day, wherever they go, and most of that time is spent on social activities. 1 billion people are registered on Facebook alone, over half of them use the site every day. Each minute, 2 million searches are made using just Google. These gigantic numbers show how the Internet connects the world.
The level of interconnectedness provided by the Internet also allows for unprecedented interaction between businesses and customers. Through the many sources of social media, users can receive information and communicate with businesses in their area. Businesses can also announce news to their fans and receive feedback for their products/services, almost instantly. Presence in the social media environment allows businesses to be personally in the daily lives of their customers.
The monetary costs for using social media is small, especially compared to ad space in traditional print and broadcast media sources. However, the trade-off in dollars is more than made up for in the amount of time necessary to manage an effective social media campaign. Instead of competing over limited ad space, companies and brands are now competing over the interest and attention of Internet users. As shown in the statistics above, the newest information has the greatest impact because social media is constantly changing so old information tends to get lost. Customers also expect very swift responses to their questions and concerns. Furthermore, it is not simply enough to put out basic information about your brand. Users only follow and share information that is funny, creative, or appealing in some way. In order to utilize social media to effectively grow your brand, you must be willing to spend the time to actively and creatively engage consumers.