EFashion_SOCEveryone’s aware of the phenomenon known as the Internet. Since it was first introduced to the public, cyberspace has been changing lives and transforming industries, making communication, learning and even shopping faster, easier and more efficient. Now, with the emergence and wild popularity of social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, companies have a host of new media with which to attract and engage customers like never before.

Whereas pioneering AM and FM disc jockeys once helped listeners discover new bands and obscure songs, today people are turning instead to their Facebook friends and Twitter followers for recommendations on everything from music to health and beauty products to fashion. Trusting this like-minded and hand-picked group to be free of ulterior motives and therefore trustworthy has made these social media communities hugely influential.

The same can be said for trusted brands. Companies like women’s fashion powerhouse Nygard are using social media vehicles like Facebook, Twitter and their blog Fashioning Your Story  not to only engage and educate their existing customers, but also to win over new ones.

Through social media, companies can offer customers a place to interact with trusted brands, as well as each other. Customers now have a place to voice concerns and provide creative input, helping companies gather valuable information to improve products and services. This open dialogue that social media establishes among the customers and the company helps provide the customer with a sense of investment within the company, while also helping companies better understand their customers.

Yet, companies aren’t stopping there. Companies, like Nygard, are taking the opportunity to thank loyal customers – while wooing new customers – with instant discounts and special offers via social media. With social media, companies have the opportunity to ensure the customer has a great interactive experience with online contests, special discounts and other events, while also driving business to their e-commerce site.

This rapidly evolving social media marketing and customer service model is proving to be the way of the future for most companies, and anyone not harnessing it is losing ground quickly. Get a glimpse of this social media world by becoming a fan of Nygard on Facebook (www.facebook.com/nygard) to see how they are forming a better experience for their customers through social media. Visit www.nygard.com for more information.