Abstract: The popularity of social media is constantly growing. More than 84% of Internet users have accounts on social networks and spend between two and four hours per day on the Internet. Each user has 195 “friends” on average. Spending time in the social media is already activity number one in the Internet, exceeding the popularity of activities such as searching for information search and using e-mail. It is expected that Facebook will replace e-mails as the main means of communication.
Recently the number of people, who use social networks not only to communicate but also to find information about various goods and services, is steadily increasing. Social networks is gaining increasing popularity as a powerful business tool. The business is taking its first steps in using social media platforms as an effective marketing channel.
The first part of the article examines the main reasons, which determine the closer integration between the social media and business processes within companies. These reasons include the use of social tools by the majority of Internet users; the undoubted advantages that social media can provide for businessеs; the employees’ passion for social networks; and the need for a clearly developed marketing strategy for using social media. Special attention is paid to the latest data on the use of digital technology in Bulgaria and the reasons, which determine the serious lagging of our country compared to other EU countries in some of the most important aspects.
In the second part, the author outlines the main areas in which social media can help the business: marketing; sales; customer service; PR campaigns; personnel recruitment; customer relationships management; brand promotion and increase of brand recognition; training and staff development. An attempt is made to highlight some of the manifestations of social tools in each of the above mentioned areas, based on specific examples.