Within just a few years, social media has become an indispensable component of integrated marketing communication and provides companies with numerous different online platforms that allow for interaction between internet users and sharing of user-generated content. This includes:
communication platforms like social networks, blogs, newsgroups, forums and instant messengers
platforms for collaboration and knowledge management in wikis, social bookmarks and tagging as well as rating and information portals
Multimedia platforms with photo and video sharing portals, livecasts and podcasts
Platforms for entertainment including virtual worlds and online games
Traditional trade cultures like China, India and the Orient as a whole made use of matchmakers even thousands of years ago. They considered themselves couplers and introduces business people from their extensive networks to one another. Today the extent of this service ranges from governmental networking events in EU countries and the U.S. to matchmaking events by interest groups such as the African mining industry and business matching within the framework of trade fairs and conventions. The leading companies in an industry as well as retailers, potential customers and experts meet here depending on the respective event.