The Internet has revolutionised the way consumers communicate by word-of-mouth. They are no longer ‘going online’ to only find information but also adding their opinions, experiences and or other types of content to online reviews and discussions. Community-orientated websites where people can share information, knowledge and opinions, are called social media (Drury 2008). Customers and consumers alike are no longer relying on the traditional sources of advertising, such as radio and television. (Vollmer and Precourt 2008.) Consumers now are requiring more immedi-ate access to information at their own convenience, and are now depending on, more often, to various forms of social media to acquire their information and then in turn making their own edu-cated choices when buying or purchasing goods. (Vollmer and Precourt 2008, 30-35.) The amount of different online applications that allow consumers to “share information, experiences and per-spectives throughout community-orientated websites” (Weinberg, 2009, p.1), pose a big challenge to businesses and organisations to control their communications and marketing through the tradi-tional media channels (Strategic Direction, 2010; Gillin, 2009). At the same time, customer service has also revolutionised by the constituency and use of social media. Today, consumers are increasingly sophisticated, and informed through the use of social media (Cook, 2010). And according to Marsha Collier (2011), “go where your customers are,” that is participating online, such as twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Organisations should be following their customers to create awareness and presence online. It is still a fact that customer service and sales go hand in hand (Collier 2011), today customer ser-vice is the new marketing. Studies have shown that consumers will spend more money with a business renown for offering great customer service (Collier 2011 / Cook, 2010). This has left mar-keters scratching their heads as to...
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