How a business builds awareness of their brand has changed dramatically. Social media has leveled the communications playing field and created an extremely powerful marketing channel for small-to-medium-sized businesses.
At one time, businesses with large advertising budgets wielded enormous power over both competitors and consumers. Today, social media has created an enormous shift of power. (Though a separate example, think of Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries in the 20th century vs. today. Think of the relative powerlessness of the average Egyptian citizen in the 20th century and then think of the 21st century and social media’s ability to create the Arab Spring. The shift in power due to social media is undeniable.) Today, the consumer wields an enormous amount of power. Consumers have a voice. Consumers can communicate with businesses and businesses can communicate with consumers. Consumers can communicate with other consumers and more. The one-way, top-down communication of 20th century marketing has disappeared. Today, consumers have a voice.
Yesterday, small-to-medium-sized businesses who had limited advertising budgets were at a distinct disadvantage against competitors with large advertising budgets. Today, because of social media, small-to-medium-sized businesses can have a voice as large as any business. Today, at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising, small-to-medium-sized businesses can reach more targeted, substantially larger audiences. Today, through social media, small-to-medium-sized businesses can have a voice as loud as any business.