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Advertising is – and always has been – an ever-changing and evolving way to market goods and services.  As new types of media have developed over time, advertisers have had to make the leap from newspapers to television to websites as marketing platforms.  Yet, there is a new type of advertising that is proving extremely useful to companies: social media influencers.

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Social media has come a long way since its inception. It began as a simple way for communication as a user would send a basic email to another computer close by. Now, social media has transformed how people consume news and communicate with each other around the world. It has also empowered the masses, which before never had an outlet or an easy way to communicate and organize ideas. Before, top media companies controlled what issues would be covered, and the view that would be expressed. With social media, this idea is turned upside down. Millions of people with the same view can determine what is important and bring attention to the issue. Examples of this include the revolution in Libya, Egypt, Syria, and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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As the date of the Facebook Initial Public Offering (IPO) creeps closer and closer, interest in the stocks of other social media companies has been growing.  This is especially true among social media companies that have recently begun trading their stocks publicly.  Social networking companies in the United States, as well as in Latin America and China have seen their stock prices increase significantly thus far in 2012.  As social media grows more and more popular, stocks in this industry are receiving a lot of attention.

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With many companies spending years building a brand and strong image among its customers, few would imagine this task can completed in a relatively short period of time. However, this is exactly what’s possible with social media. In the past years, businesses have increased their use of social media platforms to market products, build a dominant brand image, and interact with their customers. It has come to a point where businesses around the world are focusing less on endorsing their products in advertisements and more on promoting their Facebook page or Twitter account. Now the question is: How does the expanding social presence of companies impact business performance worldwide?

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It seems as if every recent news article and business discussion has some tie to social media. From stories going instantaneously viral due to the power of social media, to businesses using it as a marketing tool, to talks of social media companies going public; social media can be seen everywhere. What’s all the buzz about? That is what we are going to be investigating in this week’s Social Media Blog Series! The globalEDGE blog team will be exploring the impact that social media has on international business. Today’s post will provide an introduction into the world of social media and how we here at globalEDGE use social media in our new interactive site.