As you may know there are a lot of social media types out there. Varying from relationship networks like Facebook, to discussion forms like Reddit. The first thing that may come to your mind when thinking about social media is personal use. Which is of course the main purpose of many social media platforms.
But where there are people there are also companies trying to reach those people. Companies can create a page on Facebook or an account on Twitter and share information about the product they sell or the service they provide.
Especially relationship networks like Facebook, (mini)blogging platforms like Twitter and media sharing networks like YouTube are great ways for companies to be able to raise the brand awareness and change their proposition in customers heads. But this is not the only use social media has.
From one-way communication to interactive communication
Before social media existed the relationship between customers and companies was totally different. Companies came up with ideas for new products and there was none to very little discussion with their buyers about what they wanted and how they wanted it to look like. People may have wanted to contribute to the final product but there was no effective way for a company to do that on a bigger scale in a way that it would benefit both parties.
This changed when the world wide web became an interactive medium. Also known as Web 2.0. Web 2.0 is what is seen as the change from one-way communication to interactive communication. Mostly thanks to the rise of different social media, it became possible for companies to ask a big number of customers what they thought of their product or what other products they could come up with. This is very valuable information for companies. If you adjust your product or service to your customers’ liking there is a big chance you will sell more than if you just create something you think people should like.