Seemingly anyone with a Facebook or Twitter page feasts on their 15 minutes of fame and suddenly everyone with access to a computer and the internet have a voice to be heard.
Random thoughts, political views, real-time commentary on sports and pretty much anything on anyone's mind are readily available, even if the source isn't a credible one.
Facebook, more so than Twitter, combines all of the attributes and characteristics but with more of a "look what I'm doing" twist to it.
Social media is enjoyable, informative and, if filtered correctly by the consumer, a tremendous source for up-to-the-minute happenings.
But perhaps the most endearing aspect of networking via social media is the positive effect it has had on business marketing and communication with customers.
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Regardless whether you're a Fortune 500 company or a lone salesperson who cooks up cell phone cases or cookies from your home, Twitter, Facebook and other networking/social media sites makes getting the word out about your business priceless -- literally.
The days of a mid-to-small level business dropping thousands of dollars on a newspaper ad or begging a local magazine for free publicity via a feature story or public relations connoisseurs working endlessly for just the right hook are done. Companies opt to simply create a Twitter or Facebook page, get the word out to follow them and thus business begins to boom with no out-of-pocket costs.
As Facebook would say, what's not to "like" about that?
Sadly, the rise of social media has hurt old-world advertising such as radio and newspapers. Those somewhat antiquated means of getting out your message are struggling to stay afloat from an advertising-revenue perspective. But the stubborn nature of those two means of communication also plays a role in their would-be demise. Ad prices for those archaic marketing tools haven't exactly been slashed.
Social media and networking doesn't need to run a sale -- they're already free.
Most of the marketing for Twitter and Facebook, in terms of a business' prowess to push products, includes companies offering "latest news" or "exclusive up-to-the-second" offers that only can be found through following them on Twitter.
Turning attention to Facebook, the power of the social media and networking site is so great that several organizations of varying size opt to take down their web site in favor of one that reads something along the lines of www.facebook.com/YOURCOMPANY NAME HERE.
Creating a Facebook web site is simple and, more importantly, free. For some companies, they feel a sense of relief in that the monthly maintenance costs for managing a web site go right back into their pocket. Marketing budgets around the world are following newspapers and radio ads to the unemployment line.
The move from traditional means to social media and network isn't a surprising one for a number of reasons, mainly costs involved.
The only thing shocking about Facebook and Twitter would be trying to find a company or organization that still hasn't realized the power and pivotal nature of networking.
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