Social networks are one of the fastest growing industries in the world, with a projected 25.0% annual growth over the next 5 years. As more and more people are linked to the computers and mobiles phones, communication has become more accessible, convenient and cheap. With only a touch one can communicate by email, text and the ubiquitous social media. People can now through the social media keep in touch with friends and relatives all over the world, sharing their life events such as births of children, birthdays holidays anniversaries. Outings and what one has worn or has for lunch or cooked to what clothes, shops, products one likes are all communicated immediately to ones and dear ones and even to the public. Facebook and Twitter have become the most visited sites with a burgeoning community of users worldwide. These websites allow users to quickly and easily share pictures, links, ideas, and messages with other users making social interaction easy. As these services are simple to use and well designed and interactive, with the users able to comment or share each other’s posts or tweets, they encourage interaction among friends, relatives, and co-workers; creating a sense of community.
Social media is used by a variety of people for many different reasons. It is used by students, parents, businesses, and religious organizations. Friends communicate their date to day happenings via status updates through Face book, which has 1.55 billion active monthly users. They can also join communities such as Animal Care groups or Fan pages and get, or share information on their shared interest. While Twitter is popular with celebrities opining on various topics and giving update s on their events and reaching out to fans. These tweets often form the basis of news stories in the print and electronic media.
Social media marketing has also become an imperative for businesses. Nowadays all commercials, advertisements of businesses end with a Facebook and Twitter link. Because of the increasing spread of the social media network, businesses are turning to it as a means of advertisement. It allows businesses and organizations to reach out to the millions of users who use the net on a daily basis. Businesses and organizations create pages promoting their brands and offer deals and promotions attracting the innumerable users.The purpose of social media marketing is to build a brand and increase a brand’s visibility, through building relationships and communicating with potential customers. Customers state that it is through the social media that they have identified new brands products and services and it is through the social media that it takes a brand or company more seriously. A company’s social media presence, when done correctly, tells consumers that their brand is active and responsive to its consumers. This, in turn, can help increase customer loyalty.