Social media technologies have indeed touched humanity on a global scale. At almost no cost, we can connect with like-minded groups easily at tremendous scale and speed. All you really have to do is look at the statistics to realize platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have completely changed the marketing and advertising world for the better.
The transfer of information now is almost instantaneous. Marketing in the past was mostly limited to snail-mail, which is still the same today- costly and slow. Now we have communication at zero cost, with the capability of instant feedback in seconds. It’s easy for us to see which pieces of communication are working, and which aren’t. “Friends” can share what they “like”, and companies can easily engage with customers, which of course, increases your brand credibility. Who could possibly find negatives in that?!
From my own personal experience, I follow tons of brands, companies, and musicians and I always feel like I am up-to-date on what’s going on. There have been many times where I have posted a comment or question to a company Facebook page and almost always receive an immediate response, either from the company themselves, or other like-minded people. It’s easy and way more fun than sitting on the phone waiting for a store or company to pick up.
I think the key to social media profiles being successful is the “maintenance”. You constantly need someone checking in, following others, posting news items, and generating conversation. You need to build awareness by recruiting followers and fans. If you’re not responding to your audience and answering their questions, they will go elsewhere. Nothing will produce great results if you aren’t committed… and the same goes for social media in marketing and advertising!