Use of social media sites has exploded in the last several years. In February 2005, the Pew Research Center conducted the first of six surveys as part of the Internet & American Life Project. In 2005, only 2% of adults who used the Internet were using a social media site. That number has increased to over 75% in 2016.
Along with this growth, social media sites have evolved from purely personal to commercial use – a way for people to connect to a business and its fans. Businesses find they can use social media sites for marketing purposes, such as engaging in a dialogue with customers, building brand awareness, making offers, providing coupons or samples, and alerting customers to upcoming promotions or product launches (sneak previews).