The Internet is slowly transitioning products and services into commodities due to the instant access to data. Rather than selling items to the consumer, fans can now receive new content from the record label free of cost. Specifically, fans can download a free song, watch an interview or see live photos of their favorite artists at any time and due to this, traditional marketing has shifted.

More small businesses and corporations are embracing social media marketing. In a recent survey, 70% of small businesses were already using social media marketing to advertise their products. By marketing on social media platforms, the advertiser can see response to their campaign in real time. Analytical data is recorded throughout the entire advertising process including statistics such as demographics, geographical location, time spent looking at the marketing messages, and more. Companies, for the first time, can get reliable raw data on how many impressions, or a number of times, a user saw their ad, response to the ad and assign a monetary value to each ad campaign by judging the results. (“Social networking: How,” 2011).

Facebook relies heavily on “word-of-mouth marketing” (WOM) which, in turn, relies on communication between consumers who are independent and not affiliated with the advertiser. Word-of-mouth marketing can be associated with Reed’s Law, which states that the value of a network grows and suggests for the formation of communities and groups. Social media platforms such as Facebook can be associated with this law and brands can encourage fans to talk about a product within a certain group which in this case, is a Facebook profile. Facebook status updates can be targeted to a controlled audience and tailored to fit a specific group. It is estimated that in 2008, companies spent $1.4 billion in WOM/viral marketing and is expected to see a growth of 14.3% each year till 2013. This can include resources such as personnel, taking out advertising on social media platforms and creating packaged bundles.

One benefit of social media marketing is the exposure to a brand. A recent survey found that 81% of marketers saw increased exposure to their business when marketing on social media platforms. The number of impressions, or the amount a consumer views a product is important to a brand as this exposure can increase the loyalty of a customer, and in turn, recommend the product to their friends. A brand wants to find loyal fans for multiple reasons. Not only can the brand continue to sell to their loyal fans, but in return those fans will evangelize the product to their friends, increasing the brand’s exposure.