This paper will focus on explaining why entrepreneurs, other practitioners, and faculty must understand the effects that the proper use of social media has on the success of businesses. There is a crisis in mass marketing which must be addressed. With the economy in its current condition, it is imperative that entrepreneurs also understand how to use social media to increase advertising and improve marketing. The traditional marketing model is being challenged, and how to generate leads, increase awareness, and ways of communicating are continually evolving. This paper will discuss the advantages and drawbacks of using social media and will answer questions relevant to the use of social media.
With the introduction of the World Wide Web in 1 989, the internet became a global network. Since that time, also known as the Information Age, the amount of content available has changed drastically, and the use of Social Media has planed an important role. There are many definitions of Social Media, but one by Ward (2010), that appears to adequately describe the phenomenon states, " Social media is a type of online media that expedites conversation as opposed to traditional media, which delivers content but doesn't allow readers/viewers/listeners to participate in the creation or development of the content." There is a wide variety of social media, ranging from social sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr through social networks such as Linkedln and Facebook.
Social media also appears to be a driving force in the Attention Age (Attention Age, n.d.), which appears to have gained steam after the Information Age (also known as the Computer Age or Information Era). The Attention Age, which began in the first years of the 2 1 st century, is relevant because it has given individuals the ability to create and consume information immediately and distribute it on the Internet. In the Information Age, however, Google and Bing play a lesser role then they did in the Information Age. This is because the Attention Age appears to more userfriendly and focused than Google and Bing.
In addition, Social media is important because it permits users to instantly obtain and share information. Social media avenues such as Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube, permits users to share content with friends, and Blogs, which are user created, permits individuals to also share information. Sites such as del. icio. us and Digg also permit users to organize and share content, and Twitter has become known for its ability to break news before the news even reaches traditional media outlets. Additional forms of social media include internet forums, wikis, podcasts, instant messaging, music-sharing, and voice over IP.
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The potential usage of social media in the near future or even today is tremendous (Savage, 2010). As Savage (2010) indicated, the enormous volume of data provided by social media will provide both new challenges and new opportunities. Social media is already effective, but Savage predicted that once different types of social media recognize what is needed, the actual search engine time could be reduced from hours to minutes. Susan Dumais, a researcher for Microsoft, pointed out that the large amount of volume on the Web is very beneficial for some types of algorithms (Savage, 2010).
Being knowledgeable of the value derived from social commerce networks is very important, especially since both social shopping communities and social commerce are increasing in size (Stephen and Toubia, 2010). Stephen and Toubia (2010) found that the sellers who benefit most from a network are those who gain the most accessibility by using the network. Understanding work-of-mouth marketing in online communities is also important (Kozinets et al, (20 1 0). Kozinets and others (2010) explained that word-of-mouth marketing, which is influenced by consumer-toconsumer spending, has encompassed social media and viral marketing techniques. …