As someone who has been involved in the marketing field for many years-I am amazed at how the field of social networking has changed so much in the last couple of years. These changes are allowing users to interact more, in more ways, provide real time feedback to companies, and to reach greater numbers of potential customers.
Most of us in the field of internet marketing are struggling to keep up with the development of new social networking sites, online marketing techniques, and online tools to manage and organize social networking site information, and facilitate communication and integration. Even social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have been making changes to facilitate and enhance the user experience. The main reason this is happening so quickly is because of the fact that unlike previous means of soliciting customer service feedback, such as surveys, focus groups and questionnaires, the existing social media sites can glean real time feedback from their users and each social network service can learn from, and adapting the tools and strategies of the others to enhance their user experience. As with sites like Twitter the global community can create and then distribute virally, their own tools which users can quickly adopt, and if found useful, then spread the word to their followers who then try them out.
The power of this communication lies in its real time interactivity, its direct connection to companies, its global connectivity, and its growing audience (you have seen the astronomical numbers of people who are signing up on the sites everyday). You can even replay previously recorded podcasts, and webinars if you miss them, on your computer, media device, and phone. But what I feel has made social media so effective is its power to bring people together who share like interests, and the growing usage of a multimedia approach to interacting and learning which makes it more convenient and more interesting for people with different learning styles and different levels of comfort in interacting in a public forum.
This is an interesting and exciting time to be online. There are incredible opportunities to learn from the experts around the world, and for users to contribute, and help each other in this global community. As participants in this process -we are truly pioneers helping to shape the future of communication, and how business and customers will interact in the global marketplace.