Social media has been a hot topic during recent years. Everybody is talking about social media and how successful it can be if applied correctly. So, what exactly is social media? Social media can be defined as the media for social purposes, like sharing, interaction between two or more persons. A very important component of social media is web 2.0. Without it, social media would never have gotten such a high number of users.
Web 2.0 offers a whole new dimension in comparison to its predecessor, web 1.0. It enables users to create and exchange information, experience or opinions. Therefore, social media includes all the websites and applications created for social networking, photo & video sharing, blogging etc. Some examples are: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Wiki, Digg etc.
If we compare social media with traditional media, like television or newspapers, we can observe several differences, but also some similarities. Using both kinds of media, it is possible to get a global audience. However, social media is a lot cheaper than traditional media and is accessible to almost anyone. Social media also offers you flexibility and requires very little to no special skills, in order to use it.
So, how did social media change consumer’s behavior and life? First of all, social media has succeeded to remove the barriers that existed between two persons at distance. Now, you can easily see, hear, experience what your friends or family are doing at the other end of the world. Consumers have become more aware and have got access to a lot of information, this having a huge impact on their decision-making process. It is only some clicks away, to find out more information about the product you are looking for, and how was the experience of other customers with the product. Social media also stimulates in a way innovation, as consumers can now become producers themselves.
Having seen the huge effects of social media on consumers, it is